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1 2 3 









im llii IJ 


aSS^i 1653 Eost Mam Street 

SJ2 Rochester, Neo York U609 USA 

r.^^ C^'6) *fl2 - 0300 - Phone 

a— (?'6) 288 - 5939 - Fa, 




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y^^^- f ^f ^^ 


A Mennonite Maid 

- i^ 

"Tho girl's fiiir face looking out from a lialo of 
tender little brown curls." 

. J 


A Mennonite Maid 



Helen Reimensnyder Martin 



The Copp, Clark Company, Limited 


Copyrifrht, 1904, by 
The (.'entury Co. 

Published, February, 1904 






I "Oh, I Love Her! I Love Her!" ... 3 
II " I 'M Going to Learn You Once ! " . . 17 

III "What's Hurtin' You, TillieJ" ... 26 

IV "The Doc" Combines Business and 

Pleasure 38 

V " Novels ain't Moral. Doc ! " 53 

VI Jake Getz in a Quandary 62 

VII "The Last Days op Pump-eye" .... 70 

VIII Miss Margaret's Errand 77 

IX "I 'LL do my Darn Best, Teacher!" . . 91 

X Adam Schunk's Funeral 102 

XI "Pop! I Feel to be Plain" 109 

xn Absalom Bj;eps Company 122 

XIII Ezra Herr, Pedagogue 139 

XIV The Harvard Graduate 144 

XV The Wackernaoels at T' 163 

XVI The Wackernaoels "Conwerse" . . .185 
XVII The Teacher Meets Absalom .... 196 
XVIII Tillie Reveals Herself 208 




XIX TiLLiE Tells a Lie 222 

XX TiLUE IS "Set Back" 236 

XXI " I 'll Mabhy Him To-morrow ! " ... 253 
XXII Thp Doc Concocts a Plot 271 

XXIII Sunshine and Shadow 27b 

XXIV The Revolt op Tillie 294 

XXV Getz "Learns" Tillie 309 

XXVI TiLLEB's Last Fight 328 



"The prl's fair face looking: out from a halo of tender""" 
little brown curls" Frontupiece 

" ' The only thing I took particular notice to, about Girls, 
is that they are always picking lint off each other, 
still'" .... .... 9 

" ' What 's the matter, dear? ' she asked " . . ,29 

" ' I don't mind if my wife is smart, so long as she don't 
bother Hif any!'" 49 

'"I am going to be married the week after school closes'" 85 

"The girl swept past her" 97 

" ' Gawd bless you. my daughter, and help you to serve 
the Lord ac(*ptable ! '" 229 

" She scrubbed his fat, sunburned neck "... 135 

"He interposed and took it from her" . . . .159 

" ' Unless you leave me be, I 'm not sitting on the settee 

alongside you at all' " jgg 

■■ Tillie stared up at him, a new wonder in her eyes " . 21H 
"Amanda, brilliant in a scarlet frock and pink ribbons" 217 
" ' Oh, Aunty Em, I love you like I 've never loved any 
one— except Jliss Margaret and—'" . . .233 


List of Illustrations 

" The brethren eame to reason with Tillie" . , .245 
"'Stop that, you brute!'" 263 

" She sat down on a snow-covered log and opened Fair- 
ohilds's letter" <,gj 

"She no longer wore her nun-like garb" . . .315 
" ' Well, Tillie-' the doctor said, with a long sigh " . 319 


A Mennonite Maid 


A Mennonite Maid 


"oh, I LOVE her! I LOVE HEb!" 

rpiLLIE'S s'enoer little body thrilleil with a pecu- 
X liar ecstasy as she stepped upon the platform 
and telt her close proximity to the teaeher-so close 
that she could catch the sweet, wonderful fragrance 
of her clothes and see the hea/e and fall of her bosom 
Once Tilhe s head had rested against that motherly 
bosom. She had fainted in school one morning after 
a day and evening of hard, hard work in her father s 
celery-heds, followed by a chastisement for being 
caught with a "story-book"; and she had come out 
of her famt to find herself in the heaven of sitting 
on M.SS Margaret's lap, her head against her bn.ast 
and Miss Margaret's soft hand smoothing her cheek 

TMr .\ .^°'" '' ""' '" "•»* blissful moment that 
lillie had discovered, for the first time in her youmr 
existence, that life could be worth while. Not within 
her memory had any one ever caressed her before 
or spoken to her tenderly, and in that fascinating to-' 
01 anxious concern. 

Tillic: A Mennonitc Maid 

Afterward, Tillio often trii'il to faint nsain in 
Hchool; hut, Huch ig Nature 'h perveraity, alie never 
eoulil succeed. 

Seliool Imd just been called after the noon recess, 
mid Miss Margaret was stundiuK before her desk with 
a watc' 'ill eye on tlie troops of ehililr :i erowdiiiK in 
from playground to their seats, when the little 

Kirl step|)ed to her side on the platform. 

This count y school-house was a diut^y little build- 
ing in the heart of Lancaster County, the home of the 
Pennsylvania Dutch. Miss Margaret had been the 
teiicher imly n few months, iind hnving come from 
Kentucky and not being "a Millersville Normal," she 
differed quite radically from any teacher they ha<l 
e\er had in New Canaan. Indeed, she was so wholly 
different from any one Tillie had ever seen in her 
life, that to thi child's adoring heart she wa.s nothing 
less than a uii 'aele. Surely no nne but Cinderella 
had "ver been si beautiful! And how different, too, 
\\er,' her clothes from those of the other young ladies 
of .\'ew Canaan and, oh, so much prettier— though not 
nearly so fancy: and she didn't "speak her words" 
as other p.'oplc nf Tillie's acquaintance spoke. To 
Tillie it was ' 'lestial music to hear Miss Margaret 
say, for instance, "bnttah" when she meant but- 
ter-r-r, and "windo" for windah. "It gives her such 
a nice sound when she talks," tluniglit Tillie. 

Sonictiiiies Miss Margaret's ignorance of the d'alect 
of the neighbiirhood led to complications, as in her 
conversition ,iust now with Tillie. 

"Well?" she inquired, lifting the little girl's chin 

"Oh, I love her! I love her!" 

with hiT,.(inK,T as Tillio hIckkI at h.>r rI.Ip mitl 
tUvfvby .•misiii).' tlmt niiiiiII wi.rHliiprr to bliwli with 
riidiiint pU'iisiir... "Whiit is it, honey? " 

MisH MurKiiict alwiiys iniuh' Tillio fwl thnt she 
l>k,<l her. Tiilie W(.Mder..(l how Miss MnrKiiret coul.l 
lil<.' her! What was theiv t.) like? N„ one hud ever 
lilted her before. 

"It wonders ine!" Tiilie often whispered to herself 
with throhhiuK heart. 

"I'leiise, Miss .^rar^;urel,•• said the ehild, "pop says 
to ast yon will yon ^ive me the darst to go home till t'.ree tliis after?" 

'f you CO home till hnlf-pnst three, you need not 
(•"me haek, lioney- if wouldn't he worth while, when 
school eloses at four.' 
"But i don't," said Tiilie, in puzzled sur- 
rise, "that I want to go home and come back. I 
'i.ved whethcT I liave the darst to ro homo til 
. If-past three. Pop he's went to Lancaster, and 
he 11 be back till half-past three a'ready, and h<. 
says then I got to be lioiue to help liim in the celery- 
beds. ' ' 

.\riss Marparet held her pretty head on one side, 
eonsiderin^r. iis she hioked down into the little Rirl's 
upturned fnee. "Is this a conundrum, Tiilie? How 
can your father he in Lancaster now and yet be home 

until half-past thi ? It's uncanny. Unles.s," she 

ad<led. a ray of lijjlit cominpr to her,— "unless 'till' 
means hij. Ymr father will be home by 
three and wants you then?" 

"Yes, ma'am. I can 't talk just so right," said Til- 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

lie apologetically, "like what you can. Yes, p^me- 
tiiiH's I say my we's like my w's, yet!" 

Miss Margaret laughed. "Bless your little heart!" 
she said, running het fingers through Tillie 's hair. 
"Hut you would rather stay in school until four, 
wouldn't you, than go home to help your father in 
the celery-beds ? ' ' 

"Oh, yes, ma'am," said Tillie wistfully, "but pop 
he has to get "lera beds through till Saturday market 
a 'ready, and si. .ve got to get 'em done behind Thurs- 
day or Friday yet. ' ' 

" If I say you can 't go home ? ' ' 

Tillie colored all over her sensitive little face as, 
instead of answering, she nervously worked her toe 
into a crack in the platform. 

"But your father can't blame you, honey, if I won't 
iet you go home." 

"He would n't stop to ast me was it my fault. Miss 
Marpnret. If I was n't there on time, he'd just— " 

"All right, dear, you may go at half-past three, 
then," Miss Margaret gently said, patting the child's 
shoulder. "As soon as you have written your com- 

"Yes, ma'am, Miss Slargaret." 

It was hard for Tillie, as she sat at her desk that 
afternoon, to fix her wandering attention upon the 
writing of her composition, so fascinating was it 
just to revel idly in the sense of the touch of that loved 
hand that had stroked her hair, and the tone of that 
caressing voice that had called her "honey." 

Miss Margaret always said to the composition 


"Oh, I love her! I love her!" 

classes, "Just try to write simply of ,vhat you see or 
feel, and then you will be sure to write a good 'com- 
position.' " Tillie was ,noved this afternoon to pour 
out on paper all that she "felt" about her divinity 
i3ut she had some misgivings as to the fitness of this 
bhe dwelt upon the thought of it, however, dream- 
ily gazing out of the window near which she sat 
into the blue sky „f the October afternoon-until 
presently her ear was caught by the sound of Miss 
Margaret s voice speaking to Absalom Puntz, who 
stood at the foot of the composition class, now before 
her on the platform. 

"You may read your composition, Absalom." 
Absalom was one of "the big boys," but though 
he was sixteen years old and large for his age his 
slowness in learning classed him with the children of 
twelve or thirteen. However, as learning was consid- 
ered in New Canaan a superfluous and wholly un- 
necessary adjunct to the means of living, Absalom's 
want of agihty in imbibing erudition never troubled 
him, nor did it in the least call forth the pity or con- 
tempt of his schoolmates. 

Three times during the morning session he had 
raised his hand to announce stolidly to his long-suffer- 
ing teacher, "I can't think of no subjeck"; and at 
last Miss Margaret had relaxed her Spartan resolu- ' 
tion to make him do his own thinking and had helped 
him out. 

"Write of something that is interesting yon just 
at present. Is n't there some ,me thing you care more 
about than other things?" she had asked 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

Absalom had stared at her blankly without replying. 

"Now, Absalom," she had said desperately, "I 
think I know one thing you have been interested in 
lately — write me a composition on uirls. " 

Of course the school had greeted the advice with 
a laugh, and Miss Margaret had smiled with them, 
though she had not meant to be facetious. 

Absalom, however, had taken her suggestion seri- 

"Is your composition written, Absalom?" she was 
asking as Tillie turned from the window, her contem- 
plation of her own composition arrested by the sound 
of the voice which to her was the sweetest music in 
the world. 

' ' No 'm, " sullenly answered Absalom. ' ' I did n 't 
get it through till it was time a'ready." 

"But, Absalom, you 've been at it this whole 
blessed day ! You 've not done another thing ! ' ' 

"I wrote off some of it." 

"Well," sighed Miss Margaret, "let us hear what 
you have done." 

Absalom unfolded a sheet of paper and laboriously 


"The only thing i took particiilar notice to, about 
Girls, is that they are always picking lint off each 
other, still." 

He stopped and slowly folded his paper. 

"But go on," said Miss Margaret. "Read it all. 

'The only Ihinj; I look piirtieuUir iioticf to, about 

Girl>, iy^ tiuit tlu'V ;irt' ;ihv:iys pk-kiiig 

liut oS each other, atill." " 










.«Oh,lloveher! I love her!" 

-That -s all the fu'ther I got.'; ^^^^^ 

T::^ZVXiVZ:i^^^^^^y - search 


nounced. , oHontion from the 

TiUie tried to withdraw ^'^^ ^ 3\i„, „,,, „,a,l 

"When thous?hts 
Of the las. bitter hour come like a blight 

Over thy spirit— " 

hopelessly checked the ^<^jf^%^'Z. Absalom's 

This class was large ^"d JJ^eJ ^^^^ t„,„ 

turn to read was reached, Thanatop ^^^ 

finished, and so the ^^^^ ^'^ifj^r^, ->Thana- 

'^^'"■. .^\rtVr:e i lo': IL best suited that 
t,p,,s'Mhatagra. am ^^.^ .^^^^^.^^^^.^ ^^.^,^ ,„ ,„ 

ll^n-fesTthXin^avoice of prcternatura. solemnity, 

he read ; 

..^V^hat a world of nierriment their melody foretells!" 

Instantly, when he had finished his ''^tan.V' Li^^^ 
,io rSd her hand to offer a^cr^cism. Absalom, 

'^nii^'^t^ SS^- ^^^ t>ainstaUin..y 
I I 

Tillic: A Mennonite Maid 

trained his reading-classes in the Art of Oesticuln- 
tion in Public Speakini;, and Miss Margaret found 
the results of his labors so entertaining that she had 
never been able to bring herself to suppress the mon- 

"I don't like them gestures," sulkily retorted Ab 

"Never mind the gestures," Miss Margaret con- 
soled him— which indiflferencc on her part seemed 
high treason to the well-trained class. 

"I '11 hear you read, now, the list of synonyms you 
found in these two poems," she added. "Lizzie may 
read first." 

While the class rapidly leafed their readers to find 
their lists of synonyms. Miss Margaret looked up and 
spoke to Tillie, remind iig her gently that that com- 
position would not be written by half-past three if 
she did not hasten hei work. 

Tillie blushed with embarra.ssment at being caught 
in an idleness that had to be reproved, and resolutely 
bent all her powers to her task. 

She looked about the room for a subject. The walls 
were adorned with the print portraits of "great men," 
—former State superintendents of public instruc- 
tion in Pennsylvania,— and with highly colored 
chromo portraits of Washington, Lincoln, Grant, and 
Garfield. Then there were a number of framed mot- 
tos; "Education rules in America," " llely on your- 
self," "Ood is our hope," "Dare to saij Xp," "Know- 
ledge is power," "Education is the cidcf defense of 


"Oh, I love her! I love her!" 

But none of tliese things made Tillic's Renins to 
burn, and again her eyes wandered to th'! window 
and gazed out into the blue sUy, and after a few 
moments she suddenly turned to her desk and rapidly 
wrote down her "subject"— "Evening." 

The mountain of the opening sentence being 
crossed, the rest went smoothly enough, for Tillio 
wrote it from her heart. 


"I love to take my little sisters and brothers and 
go out, still, on a hill-top when the sun is setting so 
red in the West, and the birds are singing around us, 
and the cows are coming home to be milked, and the 
men are returning from their day's work. 

"I would love to play in the evening if I had the 
dare, when the children are gay and everything 
around me is happy. 

"I love to see the flowers closing their buds when 
the shades of evening are come. The thought has 
come to me, still, that I hope the closing of my life 
may come as (luiet and peaceful as the closing of the 
flowers in the evening. 

"Matilda Maria Getz." 

Miss Margaret was just calling for Absalom's 
synonyms when Tillie carried her composition to the 
desk, and Absalom was replying with his customary 
half-defiant sullenness. 

"Aly pop he sayed I ain't 

got need to waste my 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

time Roftin" lonrnt th.-m cinnamons. Pop ho says 
wliat 's tho use loarniu' liro worils where [which I 
means the selfsame thing-one 's enoufth." 

Ahsalom's fatlier was a school director and Ab- 
siiloni had grown accustomed, umU^r the ruh; of Miss 
Margaret's predecessor.-, to feel the force of the fact 
Ml their care not to otiend hi>;i. 

"But your father is not the teacher here-I am " 
she cheerfully told him. "So you may stay after 
.school and do what I require." 

Tillie felt a pang of uneasiness as she went back 
to her seat. Absalom's father was very influential 
and, as all the township knew, v-'ry spiteful He 
could send Miss Jlargaret away, and he would do it 
if she ofleuded his only child, Absalom. Tillie 
thought she could not bear it at all if Miss Margaret 
were sent away. Poor Margaret did not seem 
to realize her own danger. Tillie felt tempted to 
warn her. It was <mly this morning that the teacher 
had laughed at Absalom when he said that the Decla- 
ration of Independence was "a treaty between the 
I nited States and England, "-and had asked him, 
Which country, do you think, hurrahed the loudest 
Absalom, when that treaty was signed?" And novv 
this afternoon she "as much as said Absalom's father 
should mind to his own business!" It was growing 
serious. There had never be.'n before a teacher at 
VV illiara Penn school-house who had not judiciously 
showed partiality" to Absalom. 
"And he used to be dummer yet [stupider evenl 
than what he is now," thought Tillie, remembering 


"Oh, I love her! I love her I" 

vividly a school cntertaim.iont that had beon givoii 
dunnp her own first year at school, when Absalo,,, 
nme years old, had spoken his first piece. Ilis pi„„s 
Methodist Krandinother had endeavored to teach 
h.m a httle hymn to speak on the great occasion, 
vlule his frivolous aunt from the city of Lancaster 
had tried at the sai.i,. time to teach him "Bobl.y 
hliatto. New Canaan audiences were neither dis- 
eriminatinff nor critical, but the assembly before 
«-l;ich little Absalom had risen to "speak his piece 
on, had found themselves confused when he told 
them that 

"On Jordan's bank the Baptist stands, 
Silver buckles on his knee." 

Tillie would never forget her own infantine agony 
of suspense as she sat, a tiny girl of five, in the audi- 
ence, llstenin^' to Absalom s mistakes. But Eli Darm- 
stLtter, the teacher, had not scolded him 

Then there was the time that Absalom had forced 
a fight at and had made little Adam Ober- 
l>o.zer s nose bleed-it was little Adam (whose father 
was not at that time a school director) that had to 
stay after school; and though -very one knew it 
was nt fair, it had been accepted without criticism 
because even the young rising generation of New 
Canaan understood the impossibility and folly of 
<iuarreling with (me's means of earning money 

But IMiss Margaret appeared to be perfectly blind 
o the perils of her position. Tillie was deeply trou- 
bled about It. 


Tillie: A Mennonitc Maid 

At half-past three, when, i* u nod from Miss Mar- 
garet the little girl lefi her detk to go home, a won- 
derful thing happened— Miss Margaret gave her a 

"You arc so fond of reading, Tillie, I brought you 
thio. You may take it home, and when you have read 
it, bring it back to me, and I '11 give you something 
else to read." 

Delighted as Tillie was to have the book for its own 
sake, it was yet greater happiness to handle some- 
thing belonging to Miss Margaret and to realize that 
Miss Margaret had thought so much about her as to 
bring it to her. 

"It 'pa novel, Tillie. Have you ever read a novel?" 

"No'ra. Only li-bries." 


"Sunday-school li-bries. Us we 're Evangelicals, 
and us children we go to the Sunday-school, and I 
still bring home li-bry books. Pop he don't uphold 
to novcl-readin'. I have never saw a novel yet." 

"Well, this book won't injure you, Tillie. You 
must tell me all about it when you have read it. You 
will find it so interesting, I 'm afraid you won't be 
able to study your lessons while you are reading it." 

Outside tile school-room, Tillie looked at the title,— 
"Ivanhoe,"— and turned over the pages in an ecstasy 
of anticipation. 

"Oh! I love her! I love her!" throbbed her little 
hungry heart. 




TILLIE was .'bligi'd, whon about a hulf-inile from 
luT futluT's furiii, to liidf hiT precious book. 
This shf did by pinniiiK liiT |)fttieoat into a buK aii<i 
concealing the book in if. It vv ..s in this way tliat she 
always carried home her "li-bries" from" Sunday- 
school, for all story-book reading was prohibited by 
her father. It was uncomfortable walkinfr alonj; tlu> 
highroad with the book knocking against her legs at 
every step, but that was not so painful as her father's 
punishment would be did he discover her bringing 
home a "novel"! She was not permitted to bring 
home even a school-book, and she had greatly aston- 
ished Miss Ma raret, one day at the beginning of the 
term, by asking, "Please, will you leave me let my 
books in school? Pop says I darsen't bring 'em 

"What you can't learn in school, you can do witli- 
out," Tillie's father had said. "When you 're home 
you '11 work fur your wittles." 

Tillie's father was a frugal, honest, hard-working, 
and very prosperous Pennsylvania Dutch farmer, 
who thought he religiously performed his parental 
duty in bringing up his many children in the fear of 


Tillic: A Mcnnonite Maid 

his heavy hnml, in unwiisiiiK lubor, ami in almoHt 
tiitul abstinence from ail aiiiusenient anil self-indiil- 
(lence. Par from thinl^inir himm>lf eniel, he was cim- 
vinceil that the oftener and the more vigorously he 
applied "the strap," the more conscientious a parent 
was he. 

Jlis wife, Tillie's stepmother, was as submissive to 
bis authority as were her five children and Til- 
lie. Apathetic, anemic overworked, she yet never 
ilreamed of considering herself or her children 
abused, accepting her lot as the natural one of woman, 
who was created to be a child-bearer, and to keep 
man well fed and eomfortable. The only varia- 
tion from the deadly monotony of her mechanical 
and unceasing labor was found in her habit of irri- 
tability with her stepchild. She considered Tillic "a 
dopple" (a stupid, awkward person) ; for though 
usually a wonderful little household worker, Tillic, 
when very much tired out, was apt to di'op dishes; 
and absent-mindedly she would put her sunbonnet in- 
stead of the bread into the oven, or pour molasses in- 
stead of batter on the griddle. Such misdemeanors 
were always plaintively reported by Mrs. Getn to Til- 
lie's father, who, without fail, conscientiously applied 
what he considered the undoubted cure. 

In practising the strenuous economy prescribed by 
her husband, Mrs. fietz had to maua'uver very skil- 
fully to keep her children decently clothed, and Til- 
lie in this matter was a great help to her: for the 
little girl possessed a precocious skill in combining 
a pile of patches into a passably decent dress or coat 

"I'm going to learn you once!" 

for out' of livr little bnithciH or sLstcrs. Ncvcrthi'lcss, 
it was invuriahiy Tillic wlio whm sliKlitcd in thi' Hiimll 
i'X|)ciHliturcs tliiit were iiuiili' each year for the family 
(•lothiiii;. Till' rliild had always I'rally preferred that 
the othors Nhoiild have "new things" rather than 
hiTst'lf— until Miss Martiari't came; and now, boforc 
Miss Marnari't's daintiness, shi' felt ashamed of her 
own shabby appearance and longed unspeakably for 
fresh, pretty clothes. Tillii' knew perfectly well that 
her father had plenty of money to buy them for her if 
he would. Hut she never thounht of askiiij; him or 
her stepmother for anything more thun what they 
saw tit to give her. 

The (Jetz family was a perfectly familiar type 
anions the (Jermnn farming class of southeastern 
Pennsylvania. Jacob (Jetz, thoufih spoken of in the 
nei),'hborhond as beinj; "wonderful near," which 
means very penurious, and considered by the ninre 
(lentlc-minded Aniish and Mennop=to:> of the town- 
ship to be "overly strict" with his family and "too 
ready with the strap still," was nevertheless highly 
respected as one who worked liard and was prosper- 
ous, lived eeonomieally. honestly, and in the fear of 
the Lord, and was "layin;: by." 

The flctz farm was typical of the better sort to be 
found in tliat county. A neat walk, bordered by clam 
sheila, led from a wooden gate to the porch of a rather 
large, and severely plain frame house, facing the road. 
Every shutter on the front and sides of the building 
was tightly closed, and there was no sign of life about 
the place. A stranger, ignorant of the Pennsvlvania 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

Dutch custom of living i.. tli- kitchen and shutting oflf 
the "best roonis,"-to be used in their niustiness and 
stift' unhomelikeness on Sunday only,-would have 
thought the house temporarily empty. It was forbid- 
dingly and uncompromisingly spick-and-span. 

A grass-plot, ornamented with a circular Hower-bed, 
e.\teniled a short distance on either side of the house. 
But not too much land was put to such unproductive 
use; and the small lawn was closely bordered by a 
corn-field on the one side and on the other by an apple 
orchard. Beyond stretched the tobacco- and wheat- 
fields, and behind the house were the vegetable gar- 
den and the barn-yard. 

Arrived at home by half-past three, Tillie hid her 
"Ivanhoe" under the pillow of her bed when she went 
up-stau's to change her faded calico school dress for 
tlie yet older garment she wore at her work. 

If she had not been obliged to change her dress, 
she would have been puzzled to know how to hide her 
book, for she could not, without creating suspicion 
have gone up-stairs in the daytime. In New Canaan 
one never went up-stairs during the day, except at 
the rare times when obliged to change one's clothes 
Kvery one washed at the pump and used the one 
famdy roller-towel hanging on the porch. Miss Jlar- 
garet, ever since her arrival in the neighborhood, had 
been the subject of wide-spread remark and even sus- 
picion, because she "washed up-stairs" and even sat 
up-stairs l-ln her bedroom ! It was an unheard-of pro- 
ceeding in New Canaan. 

TilJie helped her father in the celery-beds until 

"I'm going to l-ua yon once!" 

dark; then, weary, but exei t.i at the pi jspeet uf her 
book, she went in from the .: 'I'.i, ;;• ! up-stairs to the 
little low-roofed bed-ehaniber which she shared witli 
her two '^alf-sisters. They were already in bed ana 
asleep, as , is their mother in the room across the 
hall, for every one went to bed at sundown in Canaan 
Township, and <;ot up at sunrise. 

Tillie was in bed in a few minutes, rejoieing in the 
feeling of the book under her pillow. Not yet dared 
she venture to li^ht a candle and read it-not until 
she should hear her father's heavy snoring in the 
room across the hall. 

The candles which she used for this surreptitious 
reading of Sunday-school "li-bries" and any other 
chance literature which fell in her way, were pro- 
cured with money paid to her by Miss Margaret for 
helping her to clean the school-room on Friday after- 
noons after school. Tiilie would have been happy to 
help her for the mere joy of being with her, but Miss 
Margaret insisted upon paying her ten cents for each 
such service. 

The little girl was obliged to r-ort to a deep-laid 
plot in order to do thi.s work for the teacher. It had 
been her father's custom— ever since, at the age of tive, 
she had begun to go to .school— to "time" her in com- 
ing home at noon and afternoon, and whenever she 
was not there on the minute, to mete out to lier a dose 
of his ever-present strap. 

"I ain't havin' no playin' on the way home, still! 
When school is done, you come right away home then, 
to help me or your mom, or I '11 learn you once!" 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

But it happoiied that Miss Marfiaret, in her reijm 
at "William IVim" sehool-hcmse, had introducwl tlie 
iimiivatidii of closiii!,' scliool on Vrichiy afternoons 
at half-past three instead of four, and Tillie, with 
bribes of candy bousjlit with part of lier weekly wa^e 
of ten cents, secured secrecy as to this innovation 
from her little sister and brother who went to school 
with her— niakin;: them play in the sehool-f,'rounds 
until she was ready to go liome with thorn. 

lieforc Miss Margaret had come to New Canaan, 
Tillie had d(me her midnight reading by the light 
of the kerosene lamp which, after every one was 
asleep, she would bring up from the kitchen to her 
bedside. But this was dangerous, as it often led to 
awkward inquiries as to the speedy con'^mnption of 
the oil. Candles were safer. Tillie kept them and a 
box of matches hidden under the mattress. 

It was eleven o'clock when at last the child, trem- 
bling with mingled delight and apprehension, rose 
from her bed, softly closed her bedroom doar, and 
with extremely judicious carefulness lighted her can- 
dle, propped up her pillow, and settled down to read 
as long as she should be able to bold her eyes open. 
The little sister at her side and the one in the bed 
at the other side of the room slept too soundly to be 
disturbed by the faint flickering light of that one 

To-night her stolen pleasure proved more than 
usually engrossing. At first the book was interesting 
principally because of the fact, so vividly present with 
her, that Miss Margaret's eyes and mind had moved 


"I'm going to learn you once!" 

over ovory word ami lliinif.'lit wliidi she was now ab- 
sorbiiif:. Hilt scHiii Iut intonse iiitiMVSt in tlu' story 
exehided oveiy otlior idea— even the fear of discov- 
ery. Her young spirit was "out of the body" and 
followinpr, a- in a trance, this tale, the like of which 
she had never before read. 

The clock down-staii's in the kitchen struck twelve 
—one— two, but Tillie never heard it. At half-past 
two o'clock in the mornin;;, when the tallow candle 
was beginiiinf; to sputter to its end, she still was read- 
inj.', her eyes bright as stars, her usually pale face 
flushed with excitement, her sensitive lips parted in 
breathless interest— when, suddenly, a stinging blow 
of "the strap" on li<'r shoulders brought fnjm her 
a cry of pain and fright. 

"What you mean, doin' somepin like this yet!" 
sternly demanded her father. "What fur book 's that 
there .' ' ' 

He took the book from hi-r hands and Tillie cow- 
ered beneath the covers, the wish flashing through 
her mind that the book could change into a Bible as 
he looked at it !— which miracle would siu'cly temper 
the punishment that in a nuiment she knew would be 
meted out to her. 

" 'Iwanhoe'— a novel! A iinni!" he said in gen- 
uine horror. "Tillie, where d'you get this here?" 

Tillie kn<'w that if she told lies sh" would go to 
hell, hut slie preferred to burn in torment forevei' 
rather than betray Miss Margaret; for her father, 
like Absalom's, was a school director, and if he knew 
Miss Margaret read novels and lent them to the chil- 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

dren, he would surely force her out of "William 

"I lent it off of Elviny Dinkleberger !" she sobbed. 

"You know I tole you a 'ready you darsen't brinir 
books home! And you know I don't uphold to novel- 
readin'! I'll have to learn you to mind better 'n this! 
Where d ' you sii't that there candle ? ' ' 

"I— bought it, pop." 

"Bought? Where d'you get the money?" 

Tillie did not like the lies she had to tell, but she 
knew she had already perjured her soul beyond re- 
<leniption and one lie more or less could not make mat- 
ters worse. 

"I found it in the road." 

"How much did you find!" 

"Fi' cents." 

"You hadn't ought to spent it without astin' me 
dare you. Now I 'm goin' to learn you onee! Set up." 

Tillie obeyed, and the strap fell across her shoul- 
ders. Her outcries awakened the household and 
started the youngest little sister, in her fright and 
sympathy with Tillie, to a high-pitched wailing. The 
rest of them took the incident phlegmatically, the only 
novelty about it being the strange hour of its hap- 

But the hardest part of her punishment was to 

"Now this here book goes in the fire!" her father 
announced when at last his hand was stayed. "And 
any more that comes home goes after it in the stove. 
I '11 see if you '11 mind your pop or not!" 


"I'm going to learn you once!" 

Left alone in her bed, her body quivering, her little 
soul hot with shame and hatred, the child stifled her 
sobs in her pillow, her whole heart one bleeding 

IIow could she ever tell Miss Margaret? Surely 
she would never like her any more!— never again lay 
her hand on her hair, or praise her compositions, or 
call her "honey," or, even, perhaps, allow her to help 
her on Fridays!— and what, then, would be the use of 
living? If only she could die and be dead like a cat 
or a bird and not go to hell, she would take the 
carving-knife and kill herself! But there was hell 
to be taken into consideration. And yet, could hell 
hold anything worse than the loss of Miss Margaret's 
kindness? How could she tell her of that burned-up 
book and endure to see her look at her with cold dis- 
approval? Oh, to make such return for her kindness, 
when she so longed with all her soul to show her how 
much she loved her ! 

For the first time in all her school-days, Tillie went 
next morning with reluctance to school. 



"what 's iiurtin' you, TII,1,IE?" 

SITE meant t' mako lier confession as soon as slic 
reaehed the soliool-hoiise— and liave it over— but 
Miss .Margaret was busy writing on the blackboard, 
and Tillie felt aa inunenso relief at the necessary post- 
ponement of lier ordeal to recess time. 

The hours of that morning were very long to her 
heavy heart, and the minutes dragged to the time of 
her doom— for nothing hut blackiu'ss lay beyond the 
point of the acknowiedgnu'nt which must turn her 
teacher's fondness to dislike. 

She saw Miss Margaret's eyes upon her several 
times during the morning, with that look of anxious 
concern which had so often fed her starved affections. 
Yes, Miss Margaret evidently could see that she was 
in trouble and she was feeling sorry for her. But, 
alas, when she should learn the cause of her misery, 
how surely would that look turn to coldness and dis- 
pleasure ! 

Tillie felt that she was ill preparing the way for 
her dread confe.ssion in the very bad recitations she 
made all morning. She failed in geography— every 
f|uestion that came to her; she failed to understand 
Miss Margaret's explanation of compound interest, 

"What 's hurtin' you, Tillie ? " 

though the explanation was gone over a tliird 
time for her especial benefit; she missed five words 
in spelling and two questions in United States his- 
tory ! 

"Tillie, Tillie!" Jliss Margaret solemnly shook her 
head, as she closed her book at the end of the i"st 
recitation before recess. "Too much 'Ivanhoe,' I 'm 
afraid! Well, it s my fault, is n't it ?" 

The little ■lirl's blue eyes gazed up at her with a 
look of such anguish, that impulsively Miss .Margaret 
drew h.T to her side, as the rest of the class moved 
away to their seats. 

"What 's the matter, dear?" she arked. "Aren't 
you well ? You look pale and ill ! What is it, Tillie?" 
Tillie 's overwrought heart could bear no more 
Iler head fell on Miss Margaret's .shoulder as she 
broke into wihlest crying. Her body quivered with 
her gasping sobs and her little hands clutched con- 
vulsively at Miss Margaret's gown. 

"You poor little thing!" whispered Miss Margaret, 
her arms about the child; "wlint 's the matter with 
you, honey? There, there, don't cry so-tell me 
what 's the matter. 

It was .such bliss to be petted like this-to feel Jliss 
Margaret's arms about her and hear that loved voice 
so to her!-for the last time! Never again 
after this moment would she be liked and caressed! 
Her heart was breaking and she could not answer 
for her sobbing. 

"Tillie, dear, sit down here in my chair until I send 
the other children out to then you and I 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

can have a talk by ourselves," Miss Margaret said, 
leading the child a step to her arm-chair on the plat- 
form. She stood beside the chair, holding Tillie's 
throbbing head to her side, while she tapped the bell 
which dismissed the children. 

"Now," she said, when the door had closed on the 
last of them and she had seated herself and drawn 
Tillie to her again, "tell me what you are crying for, 
little girlie." 

"Jliss Margaret!" Tillie's words came in hys- 
terical, choking gasps; "you won't never like me no 
more when I tell you what 's happened, Miss Mar- 

"Why, dear me, Tillie, what on earth is it?" 

"I did n't mean to do it, Miss Margaret! And 
I'll redd up for you, Fridays, .still, till it's paid 
for a 'ready. Miss Margaret, if you '11 leave me, 
won't you, please? Oh, won't you never like me no 
more ! ' ' 

"My dear little goosie, what is the matter with 
you? Come," she said, taking the little girl's hand 
reassuringly in both her own, "tell me, child." 

A certain note of firmness in her usually drawling 
Southern voice checked a little the child's hysterical 
emotion. She gulped the choking lump in her throat 
and answered. 

"I was readin' 'Ivanhoe' in bed last night, and pop 
woke up, and seen my candle-light, and he conceited 
he 'd look once and see what it was. and then he seen 
me, and he don't uphold to novel-readin', and he- 


• WIlut 's the lUiittir, drill' ; ' slio iislud," 




"What 's hurdn" you, Tillie ? " 

" Wfll?" iMiss iMargaret gently urged her faltering 

"lie whipped me and— and burnt up your book!" 

"Whippt'd you iiKain!" Miss Margaret's soft voice 
indignantly exelaiined. "The br— " she cheeked her- 
self and viitUDUsly closed h.T lips. "I 'm so sorry, 
Tillie, that I gut you into such a serape!" 

Tillie Ihouijht Aliss Margaret could not have heard 
her clearly. 

"Ile-hnrnt up your book yet, Miss Margaret!" 
she found voice to whisper again. 

"Indeed! I ounht to make him pay for it!" 

"He did n't know it was yourn, Jliss Margaret- 
he don't uphold to novel-readin', and if he 'd know it 
was yourn he 'd have you put out of William IVnn, 
so I tole him I lent it otf of Elviny Dinkleberger— 
and I '11 help you Fridays till it 's paid for a'ready, 
if you 'II leave me. Miss Margaret!" 

She lifted pleading eyes to the teacher's face, to 
see therein a look of anger such as she had never be- 
fore beheld in that gentle countenance— for Miss Mar- 
garet had caught sight of the marks of the strap on 
Tillie 's bare neck, and she was tlushed with indigna- 
tion at the outrage. But Tillie, interpreting the anger 
to be against herself, turned as white as death, and 
a look of such hopeless woe came into her face that 
Miss Margaret suddenly realized the dread apprehen- 
sion torturing the child. 

"Come here to me, you poor little thing!" she ten- 
derly exclaimed, drawing the little girl into her lap 
and folding her to her heart. "I don't care anything 


Tillic: A Mcnnonitc Maid 

nhoiif the Ixiok, Ikiiicv ! Diil jdii think I wiiulilf 
Then', tlu'i'i' — don't cry no, Tillii', don't cry. / love 
yon, don't yon know I do!" — and Miss MiirKiiii't 
kissed tlic child's iinivcriiiK' li|>«, «nd with her own 
Iriinriint handkiTchicf wiped the tears from her 

I'heeks, and willi her soft il tinners smoothed l)ack 

the hair from lier hot forehead. 

And this child, who had never known the touch of 
a mother's hand and lips, was transported in that 
moment from the snIVerini; of the past ni)>ht ami 
mornint:, to a hiippimss that made this hour stand 
out to her. in all the years tlnit followed, as the one 
supreme c perienee of her childhood. 

Ilietfahle tendi'rness of the mother heart of wonmn ! 

That afti'riiooM, when Tillie tr,,t hmnc from s<'hool. 
— ten minutes late accordinf.' to the time allowed lier 
hy hi'r fathiT. — she was ipiiti' unahle to co out to help 
him in the field. Kvery step of the road home had 
hpen a dra-inintr hurden to her aching limhs, and the 
moment she reached the farm-house, she tumliled in 
a little heap upon tlie kitchen .settee and lay there, 
exhau.sted and white, her eyes shining with fever, her 
mouth parched witli thirst, her head throhhin;; with 
pain — feelins utterly inditTerent to the conse<piences 
of her tardiness and her failure to meet her father in 
the field. 

"Ain't you feelin' gncidV' her stepmother phleir- 
niatieall.v imiuiri'd from the room, wiiere she 
sat witli a dish-pan in her lap, paring potatoes for 

"No, ma'am," weakly answered Tillie. 


"What 's hurtin' you, Tillii; ^ " 

"I'lip '11 lie Idiikirii.' fur Jim mit in tlu' fU'ld." 

Tillif wc'iu'ily cluscd lior cyi's iiiul did not anxwcr. 

MiH. (Ji'lz liMikfd ii|) from lirr pan ami lit Iht 

U'laticr ro8t lor an instant upon the child's wliiti>, 

paini'd fai-c. "Are you tVolin' too nii'an to (jo help 


"Yes, ma'am. I— can't !" pispcil Tillii', with a lil- 
tll' sol). 

"Vou ain't lookin' iriiod," tin- Human ri'lurtanlly 
I'oni'i'di'd. "Will, I 'II Iravi' you lay a wliilr. Mrl)l)i' 
pop usi'd till' strap too hard last rii;;ht. lli' sayi'il 
this dinnir that he was siinu' unnisy that hi' used the 
strap so hard- hut hi' was tlnii woiidi'rful spiti'd to 
think you 'd wt up ri'adin' a novcl-hnuk in the niwlit- 
tinu' yi't! You mijiht of knew you 'd ki'tch an awful 
lickin' fur doin' such a dumm Ihiiu; liki' what 
was. Sammy!" slio ealli'd to her little eiirht-year-old 
son, who was playinj; on the kitehen porch, "you K" 
out and tell pop Tillie she 's <;ot siek fur mo, and I 'm 
leavin' her lay a while. Now hurry on, or ho 'II come 
in here u i c, um >, ain't she home yet, or what. Go 
on noT> !'■ 

Sammy departed on his errand, and Mrs. Getz dili- 
K'ently resinned her potato-pariuf;. 

"I don't know what pop 'II say to you not comin' 
out to help," she presently remarked. 

Tillie's head moved restlessly, hut she did not 
speak. She was past carin;; wliat her father luifrht 
say or do. 

^Irs. Getz thoufihtfully considered a doubtful po- 
tato, and, concludinsi at leiifrth to diseard it, "I 



Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

ffuess," she said, throwing it back into the pan, "I 'II 
lot that one; it 's some poor. Do you feel fur eatin' 
any supper?" sne asked. "I 'm havin' fried smashed 
potatoes and wieners | Frankfort sausa-es]. Some 
days I just don't know what to cook all." 
Tillie's lips moved, but gave no sound. 
"I guess you 're right down sick fur all ; ain't! I 
wonder if pop '11 have Doc in. He won't want to 
spend any fur that. But you do look wonderful bad. 
It 's awful onhandy comin' just to-day. I did feel 
fur sayin' to pop I 'd go to the rewiwal to-night, of 
he didn't mind. It's a while back a'ready since I 
was to a meetin'— not even on a funeral. And they 
say they do now make awful funny up at Bethel re- 
wiwal this week. I was thinkin' I 'd go once. But if 
J'ou can't redd up after supper and help milk and 
put the childern to bed, I can't go fur all." 
No response from Tillie. 

Mrs. Getz sighed her disappointment as she went 
on with her work. Presently she spoke again. "This 
after, a lady agent come along. She had such a com- 
plexion lotion. She talked near a half-hour. She 
was, now, a beautiful conversationist! I just set and 
listened. Then she was .some spited that I wouldn't 
buy a box of complexion lotion oflf of her. But she 
certainly was, now, a beautiful conversaticmist !" 

The advent of an agent in the neighborhood was 
always a noteworthy event, and Tillie's utterly indif- 
ferent reception of the news that to-day one had 
"been along" made Mrs. Getz look at her wonder- 
in gly. 

"Are you too sick to take interest!" she asked. 


"What 's hurtin' you, Tillie?" 

The chJI-' made no answer. The woman rose to put 
her pota s on the stove. 

It was an hour later when, as Tillie still lay motion- 
less on the settee, and Mrs. Getz was dishing up the 
supper and putting it on the table, which stood near 
the wall at one end of the kitchen, Mr. Getz came in, 
tired, dirty, and hungry, from the celery-beds. 

The child opened her eyes at the familiar and often 
dreaded step, and looked up at him as he came and 
stood over her. 

"What's the matter? What's hurtin' you, Til- 
lie?" he asked, an unwonted kindness in his voice 
as he saw how ill the little girl looked. 

"I don'-know," Tillie whispered, her heavy eye- 
lids falling again. 

"You don' know! You can't be so worse if you 
don know what 's hurtin' you! Have you fever or 
the headache, or whatever?" ' 

He laid his rough hand on her forehead and passed 
It over her cheek. 

"She 's some feverish," he said, turning to his wife 
who was busy at the stove. "Full much so ! " 

"She had the cold a little, and I guess she 's took 
more to it," Mrs. Getz returned, bearing the fried 
potatoes across the kitchen to the table. 

"I heard the Doc talkin' there 's .smallpox handv 
to us, only a mile away at New Canaan," .said Geti 
a note of anxiety in his vo^r-e that made the sick child 
wearily marvel. Why was he anxious about her? she 
wondered. It wasn't because he liked her, as Miss 
Margaret did. He was afraid of catching smallpox 
himself, perhaps. Or he was afraid she would be un- 


i i 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

able to lielp him to-morrow, and maybe for many 
days, out in the celery-beds. That was why he spoke 
ajixiously— not because he liked her and was sorry. 

Xo bitterness was mingled with Tillie 's quite mat- 
ter-of-faet acceptance of these conclusions. 

"It would be a good much trouble to us if she was 
took down with the smallpox," Mrs. Getz's tired voice 

"I guess not as much ns it would be to her," the 
father said, a rough tenderness in his voice, and some- 
thing else which Tillie vaguely felt to be a note of 

"Are you havin' the Doe in fur her, then?" his 
wife asked. 

"I guess I better, mebbe," the man hesitated. His 
thrifty mind shrank at the thought of the expense, 
lie turned again to Tillie and bent over her. 
"Can't you tell pop what 's hurtin' you, Tillie?" 

Mr. Oetz looked doubtfully and rather helplessly 
at his wife. "It 's a bad sign, ain't, when they 
can't tell what's hurtin' 'em?" 

"I don't know what fur sign that is when they 
don't feel nothin'," .she stoically answered, as she 
dished up her Frankfort sausages. 

"If a person would know oncet !" he exclaimed 
anxiously. "Anyhow, she 's pretty much siek-.she 
looks it so! I guess I better mebbe not take no risks. 
I '11 send fur Doc over. Sammy can go. then." 

"All right. Supper 's ready now. You can come 


"What 's hurtin' you, Tillie ? " 

She went to the door to call the children in from 
the porch and the lawn ; and Mr. Getz again bent over 
the child. 

"Can you eat along, Tillie?" 
Tillie weakly shook her head. 
"Don't you feel fur your wittles?" 
"No— sir." 

"Well, well. I '11 send fur the Doc, then, and he 
can mebbe give you some pills, or what, to make you 
feel some better; ain't?" he said, again passing his 
rough hand over her forehead and cheek, with a touch 
as nearly like a caress as anything Tillie had eve 
known from him. The tears welled up in her eves 
and slowly rolled over her white face, as she felt this 
unwonted expression of ait'ection. 

Her father turned away quickly and went to the 
table, about which the children were gathering. 

"Where's Sammy?" he asked his wife. "I'm 
sendin' him fur the Doc after supper." 

"Where? I guess over," she motioned with her 
head as she lifted the youngest, a one-year-old boy 
into his high chair. "Over" was the family designa- 
tion for the pump, at which every child of a suitable 
age was required to wash his face and hands before 
coming to the table. 

While waiting for the arrival of the doctor after 
supper, Getz ineffectually tried to force Tillie to eat 
something. In his genuine anxiety about her and his 
eagerness for "the Doc's" arrival, he quite forgot 
about the fee which would have to be paid for the 




"the doc" combines business and pleasure 

MISS MARGARET boarded at the "hotel" of 
New Canaan. As the only other regular 
boarder was the middle-aged, rugged, unkempt little 
man known er "the Doc," and as the transient guests 
were very fe\ and far between. Miss Margaret shared 
the life of ihe hotel-keeper's family on an intimate 
and familiar footing. 

The invincible custom of New Canaan of using a 
bedroom only at night made her unheard-of inclina- 
tion to sit in her room during the day or before bed- 
time the subject of so much comment and wonder 
that, feeling it best to yield to the prejudice, she usu- 
ally read, sewed, or wrote letters in the kitchen, or, 
when a fire was lighted, in the combination dining- 
and sitting-room. 

It was the evening of the day of Tillie's confession 
about "Ivanhoe," and Miss Margaret, after the early 
supper-hour of the country hotel, had gone to the 
sitting-room, removed the chenille cover from the 
centre-table, uncorked the bottle of fluid sold at the 
village store as ink, but looking more like raspberry- 
ade, and settled herself to write, to one deeply inter- 


Business and pleasure 

ested in everything which interested her, an account 
of her day and its episode with the little daughter 
of Jacob Getz. 

This room in which she sat, like all other rooms 
^f the district, was too primly neat to be cozy or 
comfortable. It contained a bright new rag carpet, 
a luridly painted wooden settee, a sewing-machine,' 
and several uninviting wooden chairs. Margaret 
often yearned to pull the pieces of furniture out from 
their stiff, seutuiel-like stations against the wall and 
give to the room that divine touch of homeyness 
which it lacked. But she did not dare venture upon 
such a liberty. 

Very quickly absorbed in her letter-writing, she 
did not notice the heavy footsteps which presently 
sounded across the tloor and paused at her chair. 

"Now that there writin'-" said a gruff voice at 
her shoulder; and, startled, she quickly turned in her 
chair, to find the other boarder, "the Doc," leaning ou 
the back of it, his shaggy head almost on a level with 
her fair one. 

"That there writin'," pursued the doctor, con- 
tinuing to hold his fat head in unabashed proximity 
to her own and to her letter, "is wonderful easy to 
read. Wonderful easy." 

Miss Margaret promptly covered her letter with a 
blotter, corked the raspberry-ade, and rose. 
"Done a 'ready?" asked the doctor. 
"For the present, yes." 
"See here oncet. Teacher!" 
He suddenly fixed her with his small, keen eyes as 



Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

lio (Irow from tlio ixicki't (if his shabby, dusty coat a 
l(Jii^. k'jral-Unikin}; papor. 

"1 hiivo Ik'IV," lu' said iiiiprcssivfly, "an impor- 
tant (lokiniont, 'IVachor, eonct'rninsj; "t which I dcsiri' 
to consult you portVssionally. " 


"You just stay settin': I '11 foteh a chair and sot 
aside of you and show it to you oncet." 

lie drew a chair up to the table and Margaret re- 
luctantly sat down, feeling annoyed and disappointed 
at this inferrupti(ui of her letter, yet unwilling, in the 
goodness of her heart, to snub the little man. 

The doctor bent near to lier and spoke confiden- 

"You see, them swanged fools in the legislature 
has went to work and i)assed a act— ag'in' my protest, 
mind you— compelliii' doctors to (ill out blanks an- 
swcrin' to a lot of darn-fool (|uestions "bout one thing 
and 'nother, like tliis here." 

lie had spread open on the table the paper he had 
drawn from his pocket. It was soiled from contact 
with his coat and bis hands, and Margaret, instead 
of touching the sheet, pressed it down with the handle 
of her pen. 

The doctor noticed the act and laughed. "Yo>i 're 
wonderful easy kreistled [disgusted]; ain't? I 
took notice a 'ready how when things is some dirty 
they kreistio yon. still. B\it indeed. Teacher," he 
gravely added, "it ain't healthy to wash .so much and 
keep so clean as what you do. It 's weakenin '. That 's 
why city folks ain't so hearty— they get right into 


Business and pleasure 

them bifr, l(m<; tubs tlioy have built in their houses 
up-stairs! I seen one oncet in at Doc Hess's in Li\n- 
easter. I siiys to him when I seen it, 'You would n't 
jiet nie into that—ii 's too mueh like a coffin!' I says. 
'It would make a body creepy to f;et in there.' And 
he says. 'I M feel creepy if I diil n't get in.' 'Yes.' I 
says, 'that 's why you 're so thin. You wash yourself 
away,' I says." 

"What 's it all about?" Jliss Margaret abruptly 
asked, exaniininpr the paper. 

"These here 's the questions," answered the doctor, 
traeins them with his thick, dirty forefinger; "and 
these here 's the blank spaces fur to write the answers 
into. Now you can write better 'n me. Teacher ; and if 
you 'II just take and write in the answers fur me, 
why, I 'II do a favor fur you some time if ever you 
ast it off of me. And if ever you need a doctor, just 
you call on me, and I 'm swanfred if I charge you a 

Among the simple population of New Canaan the 
Doc was considered the most blasphemous man in 
America, but there seemed to be a sort of general im- 
pression in the village that his profanity was, in some 
way. an eccentricity of genius. 

"Thank you." Jliss Margaret responded to his 
offer of free medical services. "I '11 fill out the paper 
for you with plea.surc." 

She read alo'ud the first question of the list. 
" ''UTiere did you attend lectures?' " 

Her pen suspended over the paper, she looked at 
him inquiringly. "Well?" she asked. 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

"Lekshurps be blowed!" he exclaimed. "I ain't 
never 'tended no lekshures ! ' ' 

"Oh!" said Miss Margaret, nodding conclusively. 
"Well, then, let us pass on to the next question. 'To 
what School of Medicine do you belong?' " 

"School?" repeated the doctor; "I went to school 
right here in this here to\,n— it 's better 'n thirty 
years ago, a 'ready." 

"No," Miss Margaret explained, "that's not the 
question. 'To what School of Medicine do you be- 
long?' Medicine, you know," she repeated, as though 
talking to a deaf person. 

"Oh," said the doctor, "medicine, is it? I never 
have went to none," he announced defiantly. "I 
studied medicine in old Doctor Johnson's office and 
learnt it by practisin' it. That there 's the only way 
to learn any business. Do you suppose you could 
learn a boy carpenterin' by settin' him down to read 
books on sawin' boards and a-lekshurin' him on 
drivin' nails? No more can you make a doctor in no 
such swanged-fool way like that there!" 

"But," said Margaret, "the question means do you 
practise allopathy, homeopathy, hydropathy, osteop- 
athy,— or, for instance, eclecticism? Are you, for ex- 
ample, a homeopathist?" 

"Gosh!" said the doctor, looking at her admir- 
ingly, "I 'm blamed if you don't know more big 
words than I ever seen in a spellin'-book or heard at a 
spellin'-bee! Home-o-pathy ? No, sir! When I give 
a dose to a patient, still, he 'most always generally 
finds it out, and pretty gosh-hang quick too ! When 

Business and pleasure 

he gits a dose of my herb bitters he knows it good 
enough Be sure, I don't give babies, and so forth 
doses hlte them. All such I treat, still, according to 
home-o-pathy, and not like that swanged fool Doc 
Hess, which only last week he give a baby a dose fittcn 
only fur a field-hand-and he went to college '-Oh 
yes!-and h.erd lekshures too! Natural conse- 
quence, the baby up't and died fur 'em. But growed 
folks they need allopathy." 

"Then," said Margaret, "you might be called an 

''A eclectic?" the doctor inquiringly repeated, 
rubbing his nose. "To be sure, I know in a general 
way what a eclectic is, and so forth. But what would 
you mean, anyhow, by a eclectic doctor, so to speak 
neh? '^ ' 

"An eclectic," Margaret explained, "is one who 
claims to adopt whatever is good and reject whatever 
IS bad in every system or school of medicine." 

"If that ain't a description of me yet!" exclaimed 
the doctor, delighted. "Write 'em down. Teacher' 
i m a— now what d'you call 'em?" 

"You certainly are a what-do-you-call-'em !" 
thought Margaret- but she gravely repeated, "An 
eclectic, and wrote the name in the blank space 

'And here I've been practisin' that there style of 
medicine fur fifteen years without oncet suspicioning 
It. Ihat IS," he quickly corrected himself, in some 
confusion "I haven't, so to speak, called it pretty 
often a eclectic, you see, gosh hang it! and-yo„ un- 
derstand, don't you, Teacher?" 




Tillie: A Mcnnonitc Maid 

Margaret nmlcrstood very well indeed, but she put 
tlic qutstidii by. 

The rest of the blank was filled with less difficulty, 
and in .i few minutes the paper was folded and re- 
turned to the doctor's pocket. 

"I 'ni much oblitied to you. Teacher," he said 
heartily. "And mind, now," he added, leaning far 
back in his chair, cro.ssinj; his letts, thrusting his 
thumbs into his vest pockets, and letting his eyes rest 
upon her, "if ever you want a doctor, I ain't chargin' 
you nothin'; and leave me tell you somethin'," he 
said, emphasizing each word by a shake of his fore- 
finger, "Jake Oetz and Nathaniel Puntz they 're the 
two school directors that 'most always makes trouble 
fur the teacher. And I pass you my word that if they 
get down on you any, and want to chase you off your 
job, I 'm standin' by you— I pass you my word!" 

"Thank you. But what would they get down on 
nie for?" 

"Weil, if Jake Getz saw you standin' up for his 
childern against his lickin' 'em or makin' 'era work 
hard : or if you wanted to make 'em take time to learn 
their books at home when he wants 'em to work— or 
some such— he 'd get awful down on you. And Na- 
thaniel Puntz he 's jus the contrary— he wants hisn 
spoiled— he 's got but the one." 

Miss JIargaret recalled with a little thrill the loy- 
alty with which Tillie had trH to save her from her 
father's anger by telling him .hat Elviny DinklcKer- 
ger had lent her "Ivanhoe." "I suppose I had a 
narrow escape there," she thought. "Poor little Til- 


Business and pleasure 

He! She is so conscicntioug-I can fancy what that 
he cost her!" 

Gathering up her stationery, she made a movement 
to rise-but the doctor checl^ed her with a question. 
Say ! Nnt tliat I want to ast questions too elose- 
but what was you writin', now, in that letter of 
yourn, about Jake (ietz?" 

Miss Marp,r..t was seareely prepare.l for the ques- 
■on bhe stared at the man for an instant, then help- 
iessly lauKhod at him. 

"Well," he said apolotjetieally, "I don't mean to 
be inquisitive that way-but sometimes I speak un- 
polite to(,-fur all I 've saw high society a'readyi" 
he added, on the defensive. "Why, here one time I 
went in to Lancaster City to sec Doc liess, and lie 
would n t have it no other way but I should stay and 
eat along. 'Och,' I says, 'I don't want to, I'm so 
common that way, and 1 know yous are tony and it 
(ion t do. I 11 just pick a piece [have luncheon] at 
the tavern, I says. But no, he says I was to come eat 
along So then I di.l. And his mi.ssus she was won- 
derful fashionable, but she acted just that nice and 
common with me as my own mother or my wife yet 
And that was the first time I have eat what the noos-' 
papers calls a course dinner. They was three courses 
First they was soup and nothin' else settin' on the 
table, and then a colored young lady come in with 
such a silver pan and such a flat, wide knife, and she 
scraped the crumbs off between everv one of them 
three courses. I felt awful funny. I tell you they 
was tony. I sayed to the missus, 'I had n't ought to 






Tillic: A Mcnnonite Maid 

of camp here. I 'm not grand enough like youg'; but 
she sayed, 'It 's nothing of the kind, and you 're al- 
ways welcome.' Yes, she made herself that nice and 
common!" concluded the doctor. "So you see 1 have 
saw high society." 

"Yes," Miss Margaret assented. 

"Say!" he suddenly put another question to her. 
"Why don't you get married!" 

"Well," she parried, "why don't yuuf" 

"I was married a'ready. My wife ahe died fur me. 
She was layin' three months. She got so sore layin'. 
It was when we we- stoppin' over in Chicago yet. 
That 's out in Illinois. Then, when she died,— och," 
he said Jespoi'.L'utly, "there fur a while I didn't 
take no inl. in nothin' no more. When your wife 
dies, you (;<,a t feel fur nothin '. Yes, yes, ' ' he sighed, 
"people have often troubles! Oh," he granted, "I 
went to .see other women since. But," shaking his 
head in discouragement, "it did n't go. I think I 'm 
better off if I stay single. Yes, I stay single yet. 
Well," he reconsidered the question, his head on one 
side as he examined the fair lady before him, "if I 
could get oDo to suit me oneet." 

Miss Margaret grew alarmed. But the doctor com- 
placently continued, "When my wife died fur me 
I moved fu'ther west, and I got out as fur as Utah 
yet. That 's where they have more 'n one wife. I 
thought, now, that there was a poor practice! One 
woman would do me. Say!" he again fixed her with 
his eye. 



Business and pleasure 

'it 's not unin- 

"Do you like your jobr" 
"Well," she tentatively answered 
teresting. ' ' ' 

"Would you ruther keep your job than quit aud 
Kt't married?" 

"That depends—" 

"Or," quickly added the doctor, "you miKht jus- 
keep on teaehiu- the school after you was married 
11 you married some one livin' right here. Ain't? 
And If y,.u kep- on the ri«ht side of the School Hoard. 
Unlest you d ruther marry a town fellah and give 
up your job out here. Some thinks the women out 
here has to work too hard; but if they married a 
man where [who] was well fixed." he said, insinu- 
atmgly he could hire fur 'era (keep a servant) 
Now there s me. I 'm well fixed. I got money 
plenty. ' 

"You are very fortunate," said Miss Margaret 
sympathetically. ' 

Yes ain '. ? And I ain 't got no one dependent on 
me, neither. No brothers, no sisters, no-wife-" he 
ooked at her with an ingratiating smile. "Some says 
I m better off that way, but sometimes I think dif- 
ferent. Sometimes I think I 'd like a wife oncet " 
Yes? said Miss Margaret. 
"Um-m," nodded the doctor. "Yes, and I'm 
pretty well tixed. I wasn't always so comfortable 
otr. It went a long while till I got to doin' pretty 
good, and sometimes I got tired waitin' fur my luck 
to come. It made me ugly dispositioned, my bad luck 
did. That s how I got in the way of addicting to 




Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

profane lanpuago. I sayod, still, I wisht, now, the 
(lood Lord would try posperity on me fur a while — 
fur adwersity certainly ain't makin' mc a child of 
Gawd, I sayed. But now," he added, rubbing his 
knees with satisfaction, ''I 'm fixed nico. Besides ray 
doctor's fees, I got ten acres, and three good hominies 
that '11 be eows till a little while yet. And that there 
organ in the front room is my property. Bought it 
fifteen years ago on the instalment plan. I leave 
missus keep it settin' in her parlor fur style that way. 
Do you play the organ ? ' ' 

"I call," was Miss Margaret's qualified answer. 

"I always liked music— high-class music— like 
'Pinnyfore.' That 's a nopery I heard in Lancaster 
there one lime at the rooft-garden. That was high- 
toned music, you bet. No trash about that. Gimme 
somepin nice and ketchy. That 's what I like. If it 
ain't ketchy, I don't take to it. And so," he added 
admiringly, "you can play the organ too!" 

"That's one of my distinguished accomplish- 
ments," said Miss Margaret. 

"Well, say!" The doctor leaned forward and tork 
her into bis confidence. "I don't mind if my wife 
is smart, so long as she don't bother mc any!" 

With this telling climax, the significance of which 
Miss Margaret could hardly mistake, the doctor fell 
back again in his chair, and regarded with compla- 
cency the comely young woman before him. 

But before she could collect her shocked wits to 
reply, the entrance of Jake Getz's son, Sammy, inter 
rupted them. He had come into the house at the 






Business and pleasure 

kitchen door, and, having announced the object of 
his errand to the landlady, who, by the way, was his 
father's sister, he was followed into the sitting-room 
by a procession, consisting of his aunt, her husband, 
and their two little daughters. 

Sammy was able to satisfy but mcagerly the eager 
curiosity or interest of the household as to Tillie's 
illness, and his aunt, cousins, and uncle presently re- 
turned to their worl% in the kitchen or out of doors, 
while the doctor rose reluctantly to go to the stables 
to hitch up. 

"Pop says to say you should hurry," said Sammy. 

"There 's time plenty," petulantly answered the 
doctor. "I conceited I 'd stay scttin' with you this 
evening," he said regretfully to Miss Margaret. 
"But a doctor crn't never make no plans to stay no- 
wheres! Well!" he sighed, "I '11 go round back now 
and hitch a while." 

"Sammy," said Miss Margaret, when she found 
herself alone with the child, "wasn't your mother 
afraid you would get ill, coming over here, on such a 
cool evening, barefooted!" 

"Och, no; she leaves me let my shoes oi¥ near till 
it snows already. The teacher we had last year he 
used to do worse 'n that yet!— /ic 'd wash his feet in 
ihe winter-time!" said Sammy, in the tone of one 
relating a deed of valor. "I heard Aunty Em speak 
how he washed 'em as much as oneet a week, still, 
III xvinirr! The Doc he sayed no wonder that feller 
took cold!" 

Miss Margaret gazed at the child with a feeling of 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

fascination. "Rut, Sammy," she said wonderiugly, 
"your front porches get a weekly bath in winter- 
do the people of New Canaan wash their porches 
oftener than they wash themselves!" 

"Porches gets dirty," reasoned Sammy. "Folks 
don't get dirty in winter- time. Summer 's the time 
they get dirty, and then they mebbe wash in the 
"Oh!" said Miss Margaret. 

During the six weeks of her life in Canaan, she had 
never once seen in this or any household the 
least sign of any toilet appointments, except a tin 
basin at the pump, a roller-towel on the porch, and a 
small mirror in the kitchen. Tooth-bruslies, she had 
learned, were almost unknown in the neighborhood, 
nearly every one of more than seventeen years wearin'; 
"store-teeth." It was a matter of much speculation 
to her that these people, who thought it so essential 
to keep their houses, especially their front porches, 
immaculately scrubbed, should never feel an equal 
necessity as to their own persons. 

The doctor came to the door and told Sammy he 
H-as ready. "I wouldn't do it to go such a muddy 
night like what this is," he ruefully declared to Miss 
Margaret, "if I did n't feel it was serious; Jake Getz 
wouldn't spend any hirin' a doctor, without it was 
some serious. I 'm sorry I got to go." 

"Good-night, Sammy," said Miss Margaret. "Give 
Tillie my love; and if she is not able to come to 
school to-morrow, I shall go to see her." 



"novels ain't moral, doc!" 

rniLLIE still lay on the kitchen settee, her father 
X. sitting at her side, when the doctor and Sammy 
arrived. The other children had all been put to bed 
and Mrs. Getz, seated at the kitchen table, was work- 
ing on a pile of mending by the light of a small lamp 
The doctor's verdict, when he had examined his 
patient's tongue, felt her pulse, and taken her tem- 
perature, was not clear. 

"She 's got a high fever. That 's all the fu'ther 
I can go now. What it may turn to till morning, I 
can't tell till morning. Give her these powders every 
hour, without she 's sleeping. That 's the most that 
she needs just now." 

"Ves, if she can keep them powders down," said 
Mr. Getz, doubtfully. "She can't keep nothin' with 
her. ' ' 

"Well, keep on giving them, anyhow. She 's a 
pretty sick child." 

"You ain't no fears of smallpox, are you?" Mrs 
Getz inquired. "Mister was afraid it might mebbe 
be smallpox," she said, indicating her husband by the 

"Not that you say that I sayed it was!" Mr. Getz 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

warned the doctor. "We don't want no report put 
out! But is they any symptoms?" 

"Oeh, no," the doctor reassured them. "It ain't 
smallpox. AVhat did you give her that she couldn't 
keep with her?" 

"I fed some hoiled milk to her." 

"Did she drink tea?" he inquired, looking pro- 

"We don't drink no store tea," Mrs. Getz an- 
swered him. "We drink peppermint tea fur supper, 
still. Tillie she didn't drink none this evening. Some 
says store tea 's bad fur the nerves. I ain't got no 
nerves," she went on placidly. "Leastways, I ain't 
never felt none, so fur. Mister he likes the pepper- 

"And it comes cheaper," said Mister. 

"Alebbe you 've been leavin' Tillie work too much 
in the hot sun out in the fields with you?" the doctor 
shot a keen jilance at the father; for Jake Getz was 
known to all Canaan Township as a man that Rot more 
work out of his wife and children than any other 
farmer in the district. 

"After school, some," Mr. Getz replied. "But not 
fur long at a time, fur it gets late a 'ready till she gets 
home. Anyhow, it 's healthy fur her workin' in the 
fields. I guess," he speculated, "it was her settin' 
up in bed readin' last night done it. I don't know 
right how long it went that she was readin' before I 
seen the light, but it was near morning a 'ready, and 
she 'd burned near a whole candle out." 

"And mebbe you punished her?" the doctor in- 
(|uired, holding his hand to Tillie 's temples. 


" Novels ain't moral, Doc ! " 

"Well," nodded Mr. Oetz, "I guess she won't be 
doin' somepin like that soon again. I think, still, I 
niebbe used the strap too hard, her bein' a girl that 
way. But a body 's got to learn 'em when they 're 
young, you know. And here it was a novel-hooU I 
She borrowed the loan of it off of Elviny Dinkle- 
berger! I chucked it in the fire! I don't uphold to 

"Well, now," argued the doctor, settling back in 
his chair, crossing his legs, and thrusting his thumbs 
into the arm-holes of his vest, "simie chance times I 
read in such a 'Home Companicm' paper, and here 
this winter I read a piece in nine chapters. I make no 
doubt that was a novel. Leastways, I guess you 'd 
call it a novel. And that piece," he said impressively, 
"wouldn't hurt nobody! It learns you. That 
piece," he insisted, "was got up by a moral person." 

"Then I guess it wasn't no novel, Doc," Mr. Getz 
firmly maintained. "Anybody knows novels ain't 
moral. Anyhow, I ain't havin' none in my house. 
If I see any, they get burnt up." 

"It 's a pity you burnt it up, Jake. I like to come 
by somepin like that, still, to pass the time when there 
ain't much doin'. How did Elviny Dinkleberger 
come by such a novel ? ' ' 

"I don't know. If I see her pop, I '11 tell him he 
better put a stop to such behaviors." 

Tillie stirred restlessly on her pillow. 

"What was the subjeck of that there novel, Tillie?" 
the doctor asked. 

"Its sub,ieck was 'Iwanhoe.' " Mr. Oetz answered. 
"Yes, I chucked it right in the stove." 



Tillic: A Mcnnonitc Maid 

" 'iHaiiiioo"!" oxeluiiiicd flu- diictoi-. "Why El 
viny must of borrowed tin- louu of that otr „f TeiiduT 
— X soen Twifhcr have it." 

Tillie turned i)leadinf; eyes upon his face, but he 
<lid not see her. 

"Do you mean to say," demanded Mr. Getz, "that 
leaelier lends iionls to tlie sehohirs!" 

"Och!" .said the doctor, suddenly eatchinp the 
frantic appeal of Tillie 's ey™, and answering it with 
ready invention, "what am I talkin' about! It was 
Elviny lent it to Aunty Ems little Rebecca at the 
/'Otel, and leaeher was tellin' Heheeca .she must „ 't 

"1; ;, :', *■'''■'' '* ^"'^ '■''-''" ""-"J-^ t» Elviny." 

VVell ! said Mr. (Jetz, "a teacher that would lend 

n..vels to the scholars wouldn't stay long at Willian, 

i enn if my w(,te could put her out! And there 's 

th..n^on the Board that thinks like what I 

"To be sure!" the doctor soothed him. "To he 

book'off 'fV.''" '■•'"'""'''''• "^^'^"''^ **'"-' ■'^"t that 
book off of Elviny DinkleberKer, and Teacher she tole 
Rebecca to pive it back." 
"I '11 speak somepin to Elviny's pop, first time I 

ill's! affirmed Mr. (ietz. 

_'you needn't trouble," said the doctor, coolly 

Elviny s pop ho gir. Elviny that there book la t 
Christmas. I don't know what he 'II think, Jake 
at your burnin' it up." ' 

Tillie was Kazing at the doctor, now, half in be- 
wilderment, half in i.assionate gratitude. 


" Novels aint moral, Doc ! " 

"It Tillie (lid get sniallix.x," Airs. Oetz hero broke 
in, would she mebbe Imve to be took to tlie nest- 
house?" ' 

TiUie started, and her feverish eyes sought in the 
t»ee of tlie doctor to know what dreadful place a 
pest-house" might be. 

"Whether she'd have to be took to the pest- 
house? • the doctor inquiringly repeated. "Yes if 
she took the sniallpo.v But she ain't takin' it You 
needn't worry." 

"Doctors don't know near as much now as what 
hey used to, still," Mr. (Jet;! affirmed. "They did n't 
have to have no such pest-houses when I was a boy 
Lea.stway.,, they didn't have 'em. And they didn't 
■.over ketch sueh diseases like 'pendyeitis and grip 
and them." ' 

"Do you mean to .say, Jake Oetz, that you pass it 
as your opinion us doctors don't know more now than 
what they used to know thirty years ago, when you 
was a boy?" ■' 

"Of course they don't," was the dogmatic re- 
.""•uler. Nor nobody knows as much now as they 

times""""''™* """' ''''■""'^■- ^ ""'"" ^""'^ "' »'''''• 

'..w".,^''"u"'^''° *" '''"^'" '""'y '"•S'"'d the doctor, 
that they had automobiles in them days'" 

"To be sure I do! Automobiles and' all the other 
lost sciences! 

"Well," .said the doctor, restraining his scorn with 

a m.ghty ..irort, "I 'd like to see you prove it oncet r- 

1 can prove it right out „f the Bible! Do you 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

want better proof thnii that, Doc? The Biblp says in 
so many words, 'Then- s nothing new under the sun.' 
There! You ean't coin.- over that there, can youT 
Vou don't consider into them things i^nough, Doc. 
Vtui ain't a religious man, that 's the trouble!" 

"I got religion a plenty, but I don't hold to no sich 
•lumm thoughts!" 

"Did you get your religion at Bethel rewiwalf" 
Mrs. Getz quickly asked, glancing up from the little 
stocking she was darning, to look with some interest 
at the doctor. "I wanted to go over oncet before the 
rewiwal's done. But now Tillie 's sick, mebbe I won't 
get to go fur all. When they have rewiwals at Bethel 
they always make so! And," she added, resuming 
her darning, "I like to see 'em jump that way. My, 
but they jump, now, when they get happy! But I 
did n't get to go this year yet." 

"Well, and don't you get aflfectcd too?" the doctor 
asked, "and go out to the mourners' bench?" 

"If I do T No, I go just to see 'era jump," she 
monotonously repeated. "I was n't never conwerted. 
Mister he 's a hard Evangelical, you know." 

"And what does he think of your unconwerted 
state?" the doctor jocularly inquired. 

"What he thinks? There 's nothing to think," 
was the stolid answer. 

"Up there to Bethel rewiwal," said Mr. Getz, "they 
ilon't stay conwerted. Till rewiwal 's over, they 're 
off church again." 

"It made awful funny down there this two weeks 
back," repeated Mrs. Getz. "They jumped so. Now 


" Novels ain't moral, Doc ! " 

there 'a the Lutherans, they don't make nothin' when 
they e.,n«ert th-'msclves. They d.m't j»,„,, nor 
in . I don t like their meefin's. It 's onhandy Tillie 
Rot sick fur me just now. I did want to go oncct 
Here 's all this mendin' she eould have did, too 
Mie H handier ut Newiii' than what I am, still I al- 
ways had so ,„„eli othor work, I nover come at sewin' 
and I 'm snrne doppliy at it." ' 

"\es?— yes," said the doctor, rising to go. "Well 
T.llie, Kood-hy, „,n, i|„„.t s,t up niK'hts any more 
readm novels," he laughed. 

She ain't likely to," said her father. "My chil- 

dern don't generally do somepin like that auain after 

I once ketch '.'m at it. Ain't so, Tillie? Well, then 

Doc, you think she ain't serions?" ' ' 

I'l said I can't tell till I 've saw her again a'ready." 

''How long will it go till you eome again?" 

"Well," the doctor considered, "it looks some fur 

fallin' weather-ain't? If it rains and the -oads are 

muddy till morning, so 's I can't drive fast, I won't 

mebbe be here till tor. o'clock." 

"Oh, doctor," whispered Tillie, in a tone of dis- 
tress, "can't I go to .school ' Can't I! I '11 be well 
enough, won't n It 's Friday to-morrow, ami I-I 
want to go!" she sobbed. "I want to go to Miss 

"No, you can't go to school to-morrow, Tillie," her 
father said, "even if you 're scmie better; I 'm' keep- 
in' you home to l,ay still one day anyhow." 

"But I don't want to stay home!" the child ex- 
claimed, easting off the shawl with which her father 


Tillie: A Mcnnonitc Maid 

lin.l ,..,v,.n..l !„,• mul thro«i„K .>,.( 1„t ..nns. ••! w.u.t 

s..m,M,mu. "I w.u.t to «o to .Mis. Ataa-nna- 1 will! 

"■nili.-Tilli..!- luT fnthor Hooth..,! Iut in that m.- 
»"nt..,l ton., of p.„t|,.,„,sH t|„„ «,„„„|,,, „, ^, 
'"■'■• 1 i» t.Mv lm,l turm..l pal,. .,t hvr ontorirs ,IHi- 

".■-k ami ,„bmi,Hiv.. ,.liil.I. "Tl,..r.. „„w,- 1,., sai'i 
'.'.«■„,« ,1.,. ,.ov..,. ovor l„.r a„ai„; "„„«• lay still a,„i 
lie ii irood nirl. am't joii will?" 
"Will you loave me k« to sclm,,! to-,„orrow-" si,,. 

Pl-a-l;.! pit..ouHly. -Dan I «.. to h,-!. to-.norrow r ' 

No. vo„ ,|ass..nt, Tilli,.. »,.t if y„„ >, „ „„.„| 

sw you after school." 

"Oh. pop!" |„.,„„u,,l th,. ohil,l ,.ostnti,.«llv as in 
Hupronu. ,...ntent„„.„t sho sank hack n^ain onhov pil- 
mv. I won.h.r will sh.. .o„,o? Do y,.„ think sh,. 
will poin,. to s,'c. nio, niohbi' ?" 

"To be sure will she." 

"Now think," saiil the .loctor. "how mueh she s.>t.s 
store by Teaelu.r! An.l a lot of Vm 's the sa„,e wav- 
!.'irls and hoys." 

"I .li.ln't know she was so niueh fur T,.aeher " 
saul Mr. (;,.tz. ".She n,.ver spoke nothin'." 

She n,>v,.r spoke nothin' to n.e about it neither " 
said .Mrs. fJi.fz. ' 

"\V,.||, I -11 give you all pood-by, then." said the 
doctor; and he went away. 
On his slow journey ho„,e through the mud he 


"Novels ain't moral, Doc! " 

».1H..,! „n the inevitahl.. ola.l. «hi..l, h. foresaw mu»t 

H.nno ,Uy c.,.,.,.. between the wa,-,„.h,.a..„.,l tea 

..™.l,UK.rinies,, ,,i ,, 

'"'' ^;\ ""^■'■'■' '<''•) "M.l the Hten, and inlluentia^ 

xeh.K,l d.reetcr, Jaenl, ( "'""'ntml 

"There ,„,, ehanet e„n,es in," ,l„„„,,,t ,1, • doetor- 

"".l'.l.;-s.e,tin-ehasedn,rhe,.j„., f ..ssed^y 
word I d stand h.v her. an.l, by „,„, j -^ ^nZ 
V\hen.she-so„tof„.j„l,_.„„„., ,,„. ,i„„. ,,,,„"; 

dead easy! Ain't? She 's the n,„M a „, „ 
I seen since n>y wife up't and died fur t>iel' 




JAKE get;; IX a ylAXDARY 

TTLLTE'S illness, fhousli severe while it lasted, 
proved ti) be n mutter of only a few days' eon- 
fiiieiiieiit to bed ; and fortunately for her, it was while 
slie was still too weak and ill to be called to aceount 
lor lier misdeed that her father di.seovered her de- 
<Tption as to tlie owner of "Ivanhoi." At least he 
found out, in talkin;,' with Elviny DinkKberner and 
her father at the Lancaster market, that the }:irl was 
innocent of ever havin;,' owned or even se<'n the book 
and that, consei|uently, she had of eonrsi^ never len, 
it either to Kebeeca WaekernasJtel at tlie hotel or to 

Despite his ri<rorous dealinfis with his family 
(wliich, beinjr the outcome of the Pinnsvlvania Dutc'h 
faith in the Divine ri-lit of tlie hea.l of tlie house, 
wore entirely conscientious), Jacob (;etz was slron"iy deeply attaclie.1 to his wife and ehililn^n ; aiul his 
alarm at Tillie 's illness, comiiifr dire.'tlv upon his 
severe punishment of her, had soft,.ned' him suffi- 
ciently to temper his wrath at lindinj; that slie had 
lold bini what was not true. 

What her ob,ject could have been in shieldins the 
real owner of ih." book lie could not guess. J!is sus- 

Jake Getz in a quandary 

pieions did not turn upon the teacher, because, in 
the first place, he would have seen no reason why 
Tillie should wish to shield her, and, in the second, 
it was inconceivable that a teacher at William Penn 
should sot out so to pervert the young whom trusting 
parents placed under her cnre. There never had been 
ii novel-reading teacher at William Penn. The Board 
would as soon have elected an opium-eater. 

Where had TilUc obtained that book? And why had 
she put the blame on Elviny, who was her little 
friend? The Doc, evidently, was in league with 
Tillie! What could it mean? Jake Getz was not 
used to dealing with complications and mysteries. 
He pondered the case heavily. 

When he went home from market, he did not tell 
Tillie of his discovery, for the doctor had ordered 
that she be kept ((uiet. 

Not until a week later, when she was well enough 
to be out of bed, did he venture to tell her he had 
caught her telling a falsehood. 

He could not know that the white face of terror 
wliich she turned to him was fear for Miss :\rargaret 
and not, for once, apprehension of tlie strap. 

"T ain't whippin' you this time," he gruffly said, 
"if you tell me tlie truth that there book was.'' 
Tillie did not speak. She was resting in the wooden 
roeking-ehair by the kitchen window, a pillow at her 
head and a shawl over her Knees. Her stepmother 
was busy at the table with her Saturday baking; 
Sammy was giving the porch its Saturday cleaning! 
and the other children, too little to work, were play- 




Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

insr outdoors; c^.n tlie baby, bumlled up iu its cart, 
was out nu tlio tirass-plot. 

"Do you hiar uii', Tillie? Whose booi< was that 

Tillie "s head liuufr low and her very lips were 
white. Sh<' (Ud not answer. 

"You 'ro Koin' to aet .stubborn to mr!" her father 
ineredulously e.xelainied, and the woman at the table 
turned and .stared in dull amazement at this un- 
heard-of defiaiU'e of the head of the family. "Til- 
lie!" he srasped her roufrhly by the arm and shook 
her. "Answer to me!" 

Tillie 's chest rose and fell tnmultuously. Hut she 
liept her eyes downcast and her li|)s closed. 
"Kur why don't yon want to tell, then?" 
"I— can't, pop !'' 

"Can't! If you was n't siek f 'd soon learn you 
if you can't! Sow you niifrht as well tell me ri"<rht 
awa.vs. fur I 'II nuike y.iu tell me .tomr time !" 

Tillie's lips (piivered and the tears rolled slowly 
over her white cheeks. 

"Fur why did you say it was Klviny?" 
".Slie was the only ]ierson I tli<iu!;ht to say." 
"But fur why did n't you say llu' person it inis,' 
Answer to me!" he commanded. 

Tillie curved 1i,t arm over her face and sobbed. 
Shi' was still too weak from her fever to bear the 
strain of this uneipial contest of wills. 

"Well." coiichKled her faf.ier, his anu'er Imllleil 
and imiiotent before the child's weakness. "I won't 
both. / y6u with it uo more huw. Hut you jusl wail 

Jake Getz in a quandary 

till you >c well oncet! We 'II .s.-e tlK'ii if you 'II 
tell me what I ast you or no!" 

"Here 's the Doe," announced ^Irs. Uetz, as the 
sound of wheels was heard outside the (rate. 

"Well," her husband said inditmantly as he rose 
and went to the door. 'I just wonder what he 's <iot 
to say fur hisself. lyin' to me like what he donH" 

"Hello, Jake;" was the doefor's breezy irreeting 
as he walked into the kitehen, followed by a brood 
of enrious little (ietzes, to whom the doet'or's daily 
visits were an exeitinjf episode. "Howdy-do. missus," 
be briskly addressed the mother of the brood. luishirif; 
his hat to the baek of his head in lieu of raisinj.' it. 
"And how 's the patient?" he in(|Mired with a sud- 
ilenly prof<'ssional air and tone. "Some better, hehV 
ll<h> He-n eryin'! What fur?" he demanded, turn- 
ing' to Mr. (,etz. "Say, Jake, you ain't been bad- 
f-'erin' Ibis kid ajiain fur somepin? Slie '11 be bavin' 
a /-(lapse if you don't leave her be!" 

"It 's i/oii I 'm waiitin' to bad«:er. Doe Weaver!" 
retorted Mr, (,'etz. "What fur did you lie to me 
abont that there pieee entitled ' Iwanhoe' ,'" 

"You and your Twanhoi" be blowed ! Are you tor- 
mentiii' this here kid about Hint yet? A body 'd 
lliiiik yon 'd want to ehanjie that subjee' Jake 

".Vol till r find rrom you. Doe. whosi' that there 
novel-book was. and why yoii tub' me it was Klviny 
Dinklebi r-L'er's !" 

"Tlial 's .•Msy to!,'." r.sponded the doetor. '■That 
tliiM book belont'id to 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

"No, Doc, no, no!'- enmp a ploadinfj cry from 
Tillir'. "Don 'I tell. Doc, please (lim't tell!" 

'■N^-ver yon mimi, Tillie, that 's all riKht. Look 
lieri'. Jake Getz!" The doctor turned his sharp little 
■>.-s upon the faee of the father frrown dark with 
^>iiv'.-r at his child's undutiful interference. "You 're 
^'nl this here little (lirl worked up to the werfie of a 
/■'lapse! J toll y„„ she must he kep' quiet and not 
wnrked up still !" 

•All rijfht. I 'm leavin' lirr alone-fill she 's well 
"Oct! yon just answer fur y«„,-self and tell why 
.v<iu lied to nji' !" 

"Well. Jake, it was this here way. That there 
hook beloujied lo mi and Tillie lent it off of me 
That 's how! Ain't Tillie?" 

.Mr. (i.'tz stared in stupefied wonder, while Mrs. 
(o'tz, too. looked on with a dull interest, as she leaned 
her hiu'k a-ainst the sink and .Iried her hands upon 
hir aj)roii. 

As f<ir Tillie, a great throh of relief thrilled 
throufjh h,'r as she heard the doctor utter this N'apo- 
le..nic h.—only to he followed the next instant by an 
overwhelminR .sense of her own wickedness in thus 
'•onn,v,n.r with fraud. Abysses of ini,,uity s.rmed 
lo yawn at her feet, and she -azed with horror into black depths. How coul.l she ewr apain hold 
up her head. 

Hut-.Miss ilarsaret. at l.-ast, was safe from the 
School Board's wrath and indi-nation, and how un- 
>oi|."rtant, compared with that, was her own soul's 


Jake Getz in a quandary 

"Why <li.l n't Tilli,. say it wa.s yourn?" Mr Getz 
presently found voiee to ask 

"I tole her if sl„. left it s;et p,>t out I a,„ addicted 
to nove read.n ." sai.l the d.^-tor glibly, and with evi- 

clent rH,s ,, ••„ ,„i,-ht s, „,y practice some. And 

r.ll.e she 's .ha. i<in<l.hear.ed she was sorrv fur me'" 
And so you put her up fo say it was Elviny's' 
\ou put her up .o .ell lies to her pop'" 

"Well r „,.ver thoujiht you 'd f„ll,,r it „p any, 
Jake, and try to ^tK Kliiny into trouble " 

'•Doe. I always knowed you was a blas/,/,nner and 

l>at you d,d n t have no religion. Rut I thou,-ht vou 

luMl anyhow .norals. And I did n't think, now you 

was a coward that way. „, „,., behind a child and lie 

out ot your own evil deeds!" 

r >'^ .u'/r"! """'■ " '■'"'""• ""'' ■■' ''la^p'-mer, 
-Jake, that r „, ;;oin' to ad.l the cost of that there 
book of „„„e where you burnt up, to your doctor's 

'■11. imlest you pa* ,„e your pro,nise you '11 drop 
this here subjee' and not bother Tillie with it no 

^ The doctor had driv-n his victim int., a corner 
to yiel.l a point in family discipline or to pav the 
price of the pn.perty he had d-'strov-d-one o"f the 
two he must do, I. was a untoward predica- 
nicnt for Jacob Getz. 

"Vou had no rifjht to lend that ther, |„.ok to T,l- 
1"'. Doc, and I ain't payin' yo:. a e,.„t fur it'" he 

• T jus' mean. Jake, I '11 miike out mv bill or 
stiff accordui' to the way you your promise " 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

"If my word whs iid mort' bctt<'r 'ii yours, Doc, 
my passin' my promise would n't help much!" 

"TliHt "s all riirhl. Jake. I don't set up to he re- 
ligious and moral. I ain't sayed my prayers sinee 
I am old eiKiut'h a 'ready to know how likely I was, 
still, to kneel on a tack!" 

"It 's no wonder you was pu! off of church!" was 
the hitins; n tort. 

"Hold up there. Jake. I was n't put off. I „;iit 
otf. I took myself off of church before the brethren 
had a duinct to put me otf." 

"Sammy!" Mr. (Jetz suddenly and sharply ad- 
monished liis little son, who was sharpeninf,' his slate- 
pencil on the window-sill with a table-knife, "you 
stop risiht awa.vs sharpenin' that pencil! You das- 
si'Ut sharpen your slate-pencils, do you hear? It 
wastes 'em so!" 

Sanjiny hastily laid down the knife and thrust the 
pencil into )iis pcM-ket. 

Mr. (iet/ turned a^'ain to the doctor and incpiired 
iri'itably. ■■\Vliat is it to ijiiii if I teadi my own child 
to miml me or not. I d like lo know'" 

"Becausi' she 's li,i.n bothered into a sii-kness with 
this here thinf,' a 'reaily. and it 's time it stopped 
now I" 

"II was you slart.'d il. |,.avir.. ' h^T l.-nd the hook 
otr of you!" 

"That 's wliv I l'....| lur sfiarin' lii'r some more 
trouble, sei.iu' I was the instrument in Ih.. hands of 
I'r'ividence fur ^'ettin' her into all this lierc mess 

Jake Gctz in a quandary 

"I Piin't bo sure wlicii lo kiunv if you Ve lyin' or 
nut," said Jlr. (ietz lii'lplcssly. 

"iMebbf you can't, Jake. Sonifliiiics I 'in swansicd 
if I 'ill surr, still, myself. But tlHiv 's one tliliiu' 
v^.ii kill be cork-surH of-anil that 's a bi},' doctcji" 
bill unlcst yi.u do what I saved." 

■Now that r know who she lent the book oil' of 
there ain't nothin' to bother her about," sullenly 
^'rallied Air. ( .et/, -And as fur pMiiishnient-sbe 's 
liad punishment ii-pWn-y, I ^'uess, in her bein' so 

"All rif;ht." tli, <l,,ei,,r said mafinaniniouslv. 
"There 's on. tluiiir I '11 ^-jv, v. mi, Jake: you 're'a 
man of your vord. if you ,„•, ;, ])nteh liof;!" 

" A- «■/-«/< e,.'" .Mr. (;,.|z an-rily <li>manded. 

"And I don't s,.,..- the doetur <'or,plaeen(lv eon- 
Imued. lisiiifi aiKl pulling,. Ins Imt d.iwn to his eve- 
I'l-ows, preparatory to l,.avin-. •■wli,.re Tillie fjets her 
/ibbin' from. ( .-rtainly not Ironi her pop," 

"I don't mine lor <•%■,.• telliii' „.. lie before." 

"•*••''■ -'"I*''' } 1 'l''iv.. your ehildivn to lie to von. 

the way you brin- 'e ,, |„ 1„, ,|f,.„i,i ,,f ^ou. They 

.'/"/ to lie. now and af-'aiii. m a Kelb-r like you! Well. 
w,li." he soothin-ly a.lded as he saw the blaek look 
in the father's faee at the ..iriiifr of sueh views in the 

'"''■*"■' "'■ 'lis ehildri'ii. -iiever niin.l. .lalie, it 's all 

in the day's work !" 

lie turned for a partinj; t;lan.-,. :,\ Tilli... "She 's 
better. She 'II be well till „ day or two. now. and 
baek to ,/• sh,^ ', kop' ,,„j,.|. ,1,1,1 1,,,,. ,„„„j 
am t bothered an,\ . .\ow. ,/„„..--bv t.i vuns." 


'the last days I .■■ PtlMP-EYB' 


FOR a lonpr time afto, her unliappy oxporipnccs 
with "Ivanliof" Tillie did not apiin voiitmv to 
liiuis-n.s.s ii};ainst her father s prohil)iti<in of novels. 
IJiit her fear of the family strap, although ^reat, did 
not e(|iial the keenness of her mental hunfier, and 
was not sufficient, therefore, to put a permanent 
eheck Hp<m her secret midnifrht readinj;, though it 
did lead her to take every ()reeauli<)n against detec- 
tion. Aliss Margaret continued to lend her books and 
masazines from time to time, and in spite of flie 
child's reluctance to risk involvins; the teacher in 
trouble with the School Board through her father, she 
accepted them. And so durinsr all this winter, throujrh 
her love for books and her passionate di'votion to her 
teacher, the little frirl reveled in feasts of fancy and 
emotion and tliis term at school was the fiist season of 
rial happiness hiT yount; life had ever known. 

Once on her return from school the weijiht of a 
heavy volume had proved too great a strain on her 
worn and thin under!.'arment duriu}; the lonir walk 
liome; the skirt had torn away from thi' band, and as 
she cnterotl the kitchen, her stepmother discovered the 


"The Last Days of Pump-eye" 

Tillip pl(>8dcfl with her not to toll her father, anil 
pprbapx she iniKht have mipcecdcd in Rainiuf; a prom- 
ise of secrecy had it not happened that just at thj 
critical moment her father walked into the kitchen. 

Of course, then the book was handed over to him, 
and Tillie with it. 

"Did yon lend this off the Doc aKain?" her father 
sternly demanded, the fated book in one hand and 
Tillie's shoulder grasp (i in the other. 

Tillie hated to utter the lie. .She hoped .shi' had 
modified her wickedness a bit by answering with a 
nod of her bead. 

"What 's be mean, tlirowin' away so much money 
on books!" Mr. (Jetz took time in his anger to wonder. 
He read thi' title, " 'Last Days of Pump-eye.' 
Well!" he exclaimed, "this here 's the last hour 
of this here 'Pump-eye'! In the stove she goes! I 
don't owe the Doc no doctor's bill now, and I 'd like 
to see him make me pay him fur these here novels he 
leaves ycm lend of^' of bini!" 

"Please, please, pop!" Tillie gasped, "don't hum 
it. (Jive it Hack to— him! I won't read it— I won't 
bring home no more books of— hisn ! Only, please, 
pop. don't burn it— please!" 

For answer, he drew her with him as be strode to 
the fireplace. "I 'm burnin' every book you bring 
home, do ycm bear?" he e* laime<l : but before hi' 
cimld make good his words, the kitchen diinr was 
suddenly opened, and Sanniiy's beiid was poked in, 
with the announcement. "The Docs buggy 's comin' 
up the mad!" The door hanged .shut again, but in- 



■ {I 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid Tilli.. wrenehe.l her shoulder free fron, her fa- 

• her « han,l, «..«■ ,„„ „f ,„H,r„ an.l ,1aahe,l aer.** ,he 

yard t„ the front Kate. H.t fath.T-K voiee fol- 

Lm^-d her. eallinK U, her fr.„„ the poreh t., "eon.e 

"at rT-'th""'. '""■"'" ''""""•""«' ""'• frantically 
UHVed t., the d.,e,nr ,„ his approaeh,,,,- huKRV 
Sanuny. wth a bevy of ,„,„„ brothen. and sinter^ 
lo *h,..„. no less than to their parents, the passing of 
a tea... WHS an eve..t not to be missed, were all 
erowded elose to thi' fenee. 

-Some one siek aj^Hin- i,„,„ired the .loetor as he 
drew up at Tilli.'s si.le. 

"No, Do..-b„,.' Tilli „|,| ,,„r,||v ^,„, ,,.,r breath 

speak pop s ,.m.- ,„ b„.„ „,, -,,„«, „„y, „f 
•'>n,pen:.t;s.M,ss Margarets, and he thinks it s 

\iTl7Z-" r' ""^" '"• '>—/'/'"■" -Hnd Rive 
It back to Margaret, won't yn„»" 

tb:i;!:.k;' "^'•••" ^'^"- •■ - •« p.-> <•■> -with 

"See n„. fix hi.n.'- ehiiekled the d.K-tor. -lie s 
so <1,...,.,. he '11 b'lee' ,.,ost anything. If | have 
unu-h more dealins with yo„r pop. Tillie. I -11 be 
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W.1S li.euacint! as he 

"'Ihe Last Days of Pump-cyc" 

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1653 East Mr-in Slreel 
Rochoster, Ne* York 141 
(716) 482 -0300 - Phone 
(716) 288- 5989 - Fq» 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

"You better watch out, Jake Getz, or you 'II have an- 
other doctor's bill to pay ! " the doctor vvarniiigly called 
after him. "That girl of yourn ain't strong enough 
to stand j-our rough handlin', and you '11 tind it out 
some day— to your regret ! You 'd better go round 
back and let off your feelin's choppin' wood fur mis- 
sus, 'stead of hittin' that little girl, you big dopple!" 

Mr. Getz stalked on without deigning to reply, 
thrusting Tillie ahead of him. The doctor jumped 
into his buggy and drove off. 

Ilis warning, however, was not wholly lost upon 
the father. Tillie 's recent illness had awakened re- 
morse for the severe punishment he had given her on 
the eve of it ; and it had also touched his purse ; and 
so, though she did not escape punishment for this 
second and, therefore, aggravated offense, it was 
meted out in stinted measure. And indeed, in her 
relief and thankfulness at again saving Miss Jlar- 
garet, the child scarcely felt the few light blows 
which, in order that parental authority be maintained, 
her father forced himself to inflict upon her. 

In spite of these mishaps, however, Tillie continued 
to devour all the books she could lay hold of and to 
run perilous risks for the sake of the delight she found 
in them. 

Miss Margaret stood to her for an image of every 
heroine of whom she read in prose or verse, and for 
the realization of all the romantic day-dreams in 
which, as an escape from the joyless and sordid life 
of her home, she was learning to live and move and 
have her being. 


"The Last Days of Pump-eye" 

Therefore it came to her as a heavy blow indeed 
when, just after the Christmas holidays, her father an- 
nounced to her on the first morninrr of the reopening 
of school, "You best make <;ood use of your time from 
now on, Tillie, fur next spring I 'm takin' you out 
of school." 

Tillie 's face turned white, and her heart thumped 
in her breast so that she could not speak. 

"You 're coiiiin' twelve year old," her father con- 
tinued, "and you 're enough educated, now, to do 
you. Me and mom needs you at home." 

It never occurred to Tillie to question or discuss a 
decision of her father's. When he spoke it was a 
finality and one might as well rebel at the falling of 
the snow or rain. Tillie 's woe was utterly hopeless. 

Iler dreary, drooping aspect in the next few days 
was noticed by Jliss Margaret. 

"Pop 's takin' me out of school next spring," she 
heart-brokenly said when questioned. "And when 
I can't see you every day. Miss Margaret, I won't 
feel for nothin' no more. And I thought to get more 
educated than what I am yet. I thought to go to 
school till I was anyways fourteen." 

So keenly did Miss Margaret feel the outrage 
and wrong of Tillie 's arrested education, when her 
father could well aflford to keep her in school until 
she was grown, if he would ; so stirred was her warm 
Southern blood at the thought of the fate to which 
poor Tillie seemed doomed— the fate of a household 
drudge with not a moment's leisure from sunrise to 
night for a thought above the grubbing existence of 


Tillie: A Mcnnonite Maid 

a domestic beast of burden (thus it all looked to this 
woman from Kentucky), that she determined, cost 
what it mii;ht, to go herself to appe; ' to Mr. Getz. 

"He will have me 'chased off of William Penn,' " 
she ruefully told herself. "And the loss just now of 
my muniKeent salary of thirty-tive dollars a month 
would be inconvenient. 'The Doc' said he would 
'stand by' me. But that mij;ht be more inconvenient 
still !" she thought, with a little shudder. "I suppose 
this is an impolitic step for me to take. But policy 
'be blowed,' as the doctor would say! What are we 
in this world for but to help one another? I must 
try to help little Tillie— bless her!" 

So the following Monday afternoon after school, 
found Miss Margaret, in a not very complacent or 
confident frame of mind, walking with Tillie and her 
younger brother and sister out over the snow-cov- 
ered road to the Getz farm to face the redoubtable 
head of the family. 




IT was half-past four o'clock when they reached 
the farm-house, and tliey found tlie weary, dr-ary 
mother of the family cleaning' fish at the kitchen sink, 
one baby pullinj; at her skirts, another sprawling on 
the floor at her feet. 

Jliss Margaret inciuired whether she might see Mr. 

"If you kin! Yes, I ftuess," Mrs. Getz dully 
responded. "Sammy, you go to the barn and tell 
pop Teacher "c here and wants to speak somepin to 
him. Mister s out back," she explained to Miss Mar- 
garet, "choppin' wood." 

Sammy departed, and Miss Margaret sat down in 
the chair which Tillie brought *t her. Mrs. Getz 
went on with her work at the s , while Tillie set to 
work at once on a crock of potatoes waiting to be 

"You are getting supper very early, are n't you?" 
Miss Margaret asked, with a friendly attempt to make 

"No, we 're some late. And I don't get it ready 
yet, I just start it. We 're getting strangers fur sup- 

"Are you!" 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

"Yes. Some of Mister's folks from East Bethel." 
"And are they strangers to you?" 
Mrs. tii'tz paused in lier scraping of the fish to con- 
sider the question. 

"If they "re strangers to us? Och, no. We knowed 
them this lung time a 'ready. Us we 're well ac- 
quainted. But to be suie they don't live with us, 
so we say strangers is comin'. You don't talk like 
us; ain't?" 
"N— not exactly." 

"I do think now (you must excuse me sayin' so) 
but you do talk awful funny," Mrs. Getz smiled 
f eebl /. 

"I suppose I do," Miss Margaret sympathetically 

Mr. Getz now came into the room, and Miss Mar- 
garet rose to greet him. 

"I 'm much obliged to meet you," he said awk- 
wardly as he sliook hands with her 

He glanced at the clock on the mantel, then turned 
to speak to Tillie. 
"Are yous home long a 'ready?" he inquired. 
"Not so very long," Tiilie answered with an appre- 
hensive glance at the clock. 

"You 're some late," he said, with a threatening 
little nod as he drew up a chair in front of the 

"It 's ray fault," Miss Margaret hastened to say. 
"I made the children wait to bring me out here." 

"Well," conceded Mr. Getz, "then we '11 leave it 
go this time." 


Miss Margaret's Errand 

Miss Margaret now bent her mind to the difficult 
task of persiuidins; this stubborn Pennsylvania Duteh- 
iiian to Hccopt her views as to what was for the high- 
est and best jiood of his daughter. Eloquently she 
pointed out to him that Tillie being a child of unu- 
sual ability, it would be much better for her to have 
an education than to be forced to spend her days in 
farm-house drudgery. 

But her point of view, being entirely novel, did not 
at all appeal to him. 

"I never thought to leave her go to school after 
she was twelve. That 's long enough fur a girl ; a 
female don't need much book-knowledge. It don't 
help her none to keep house fur her mister." 

"But she could become a teacher and then she 
could earn money," Miss Margaret argued, knowing 
the force of this point with Mr. Getz. 

"But look at all them years she 'd have to spend 

learnin' herself to be intelligent enough fur to be a 

teacher, when she mi^ht be helpin' me and mom." 

"But she could help you by paying board here 

when she becomes the New Canaan teacher." 

"That 's so too," granted Mr. Getz; and Margaret 
grew faintly hopeful. 

"But," he added, after a moment's heavy weighici; 
of the matter, "it would take too long to get her 
enough educated fur to be a teacher, and I 'm one 
of them," he maintained, "that holds a child is born 
to help the parent, and not contrarywise— that the 
parent must do everything fur the child that way." 
"If you love your children, you must wish for 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

their highest good," she suggested, "and not tram- 
ple on their best interests." 

"But they have the right to work for their pa- 
rents," la' insisted. "You need n't plague me to leave 
Tillie stay in school. Teacher. I ain't leavin' her!" 

"Do you think you have a right to bring children 
into the world only to crush everything in them that 
is worth while?" jMargaret dared to .say to him, her 
face flushed, her eyes bright witli the intensity of her 

"That 's all blamed foolishness!" Jake Getz af- 

"Do you thinic that your daughter, when she is 
grown and realizes all that she has lost, will ' up 
and call you blessed'?" she persisted. 

"Do I think? Well, what I think is ihat it 's a 
good bit more particular that till she 's growcd she 's 
been learnt to work and serve them that raised her. 
And what I think is that a person ain't fit to be a 
teacher of the young that sides along with the chil- 
dern ag'in' their parents." 

Miss Margaret felt that it was time she took her 

"Look-ahere oncet. Teacher!" Mr. Getz suddenly 
said, fixing on her a suspicious and searching look, 
"do you uphold to novel-readin'?" 

Miss Margaret hesitated perceptibly. She must 
shield Tillie even more than herself. "What a ques- 
tion to ask of the teacher at William Penn!" she 
gravely answered. 

"I know it ain't such a wery polite questic ," re- 


Miss Margaret's Errand 

turned Mr. Getz, half apoloKeticnlly. "Hut the way 
you side along with eliildorn ajf'in' their nnreiits sus- 
picions nie that the Doc was lyin' when he saycd 
them novel-books was hisn. Now was they hisn or was 
they yourn?" 

Miss Margaret rose with a look and air of injury. 
"Mr. Get/, no one ever before asked me sueh ((ues- 
tions. Indeed," she said, in a tone of virtuous prim- 
ness, "I can't answer such questions." 

"All the same," sullenly asserted Mr. (ietz, "I 
would n't put it a-past you after the way you passed 
your opinion to me this after!" 

"I must be going," returned Miss Margaret with 

Mrs. Getz came forward from the stove with a 
look and manner of apology for her husband's rude- 
ness tr the visitor. 

"What 's your hurry? Can't you stay and eat 
along? We 're not anyways tired of you." 

"Thank you. But they will be waiting for me at 
the hotel," said Miss Margaret gently. 

Tillie, a bit frightened, also hovered near, her wist- 
ful little face pale. Miss Margaret drew her to her 
and held her at her side, as she looked up into the face 
of Mr. Getz. 

"I am verj", very sorry, Mr. Getz, that my visit 
has proved so fruitless. You don't realize what a 
mistake you are making." 

"That ain't the way a teacher had ought to talk 
before a scholar to its parent!" indignantly retorted 
Mr. Getz. "And I 'm pretty near sure it was all 

Tillic: A Mcnnonite Maid 

the limo ijoii wlipro lent tlii'iii Ixinks to Tillio— cor- 
ruptiii' tlic ycniiiK! I mn li'll you risht now, I iiin't 
wotin' fur you at next i ..ction! And tlio way I wotc 
is tin' way two olhcr nu'iiibcrs always wotes still— anil 
so you '11 lose your job at William IVnn ! That 's 
what you j;i't fm" fiyiii' to interfere between a parent 
and a scholar! I hope it '11 learn you!" 

"And when is the next election!" iraperturbably 
asked Miss Margaret. 

"Next month on the twenty-fifth of February 
Then you '11 see oneet ! ' ' 

"According to the terms of my agreement with the 
Board I hold iny position until the first of April un- 
less the Board can show reasons why it should be 
taken from me. What reasons can you show?" 

"That you side along with the—" 

"That I try to persuade you not to take your child 
out of school when you can well afford to keep her 
there. That 's what you have to tell ;he Board." 

Mr. Getz stared at her, rather baffled. The children 
also stared in wide-eyed curiosity, realizing with won- 
der that Teacher was "talkin' up to pop!" It was a 
novel and interesting spectacle. 

"Well, anyway.s," continued Mr. Getz, rallying, 
"I '11 bring it up in Board meeting that you mebbe 
leave the scholars borry the loan of novels off of 
you. ' ' 

"But yotj can't prove it. I shall hold the Board 
to their contract. They can't break it." 

Miss Margaret was taking very high ground, of 
which, in fact, she was not at all sure. 


Miss Miirgaret's Errand 

Mr. 0.(7. sjnzi'd nl licr with iiiin(;liMl nngor niiil 
fascination. Ileri' \vs pcrtainly a new spi'cics (if 
wnnian! NVvcr before lnul any teaclior at William 
Ponn failoil to cririiP tn his authority iis a iliroctor. 

"This iniifh I kin say," he "nally dedari'il. 
"Mehbc yoti kin hold lis to that tlie.'c contiact, but 
you won't, anyways, Iw dcptcd to c imc back licri' 
next term! That 's sure! You 'II have to look out 
fur another plaee till Sepliiiil)er a'rea<ly. And we 
won't fiive you no (vroniinend, neitlier, to jjct yourself 
another sel. lol with !" here it was tl'at Miss Margaret had lor tri- 
umph, which she wa.s quite human enough to thor- enjoy. 

"You won't have a ehanec to reelect me, for I am 
Koing to resign at the end of the term. I am goins to 
he man' I the week after school closes." 

Nevei aad Mr. detz felt himself so foiled. Never 
before had any one sub,,'et in any degree to his au- 
thority so neatly eluded a reckcming at his hands. A 
tingling sensation ran along his arm and he had to 
restrain his impulse to lift it, grasp this slender 
creature standing so fearlessly before him, and thor- 
oughly shako her. 

"Who 's the party?" asked Mrs. Oetz, curiously. 
"It never got put out that you vas promised. I 
ain't heard you had any steady comp'ny. To be sure, 
some says the Do likes you nretty good. Is it now, 
mebbe, the Doc? But no," she shook her head; 
"Mister s sister Em at the /lotel would have tole me. 
Is it some one whe-e lives around here?" 


Tillic: A Mcnnonitc Maid 

"I don't iiiiiid ti'lliiit; .vmi," MisH Miirsriirct t.'ni- 
ciously iinsMfri'd. rciiliziii),' tliiit her I'l'ply wrndd 
(.'iviitly incri'iisc Mr. (ictz's sitisc of dcfciit. "It is 
.Mr. Liinsinjf, a nephew of the Stiite Superintendent 
(if schools! and a professor at the .Millersville .\orinal 

"Well, now just look!" Mrs. (Ictz exclaimed won- 
derinirly. "Such a tony party! Tlie State Superin- 
tendent's nephew! Tliat 's even a more way-np per- 
.soM than what the county superintendent is! Ain't? 
Well, who 'd 'a' thounht!" 

"Miss Margaret!" Tillic breathed, sazinj; up at 
her, her eyes wide and strained with distress, "if 
you (fo away and get married, won't I itcvir see you 
no more?" 

"But, dear, I shall live so near— at the Normal 
Sehoo. only a few miles away. You can eoiue to sec 
me often." 

"But pop won't leave mc. Miss Marjiaret— it costs 
too expensive to go wisitinif, and I srot to help with 
the work, still. <) Miss Marfjaret!" Tillic .sohhed, 
as Marfiarct sat down and held the elin^'ing child 
to her, "I '11 never see you no more after you }.'o 

"Tillic, dear!" Mari;aret tried to sootlu' her. 
"I '11 come to sec yo», then, if ycm can't come to sec 
nie. Listen, Tillic,— I 'vc just thought of somethinjr." 

Suddenly she put the little girl from her and stood 

"Let me take Tillic to live with mc nc.\t fall at the 
Normal School. "Won't you do that, Mr. Uctz?" she 




Miss Margaret's Errand 

urged him. "She could go to the preparatory school, 
and if we stay at Miller&ville, Dr. Lansing and I 
would try to have her go through the Normal School 
and graduate. Will you consent to it, Mr. Oetz?" 

"And who 'd be payin' fur all this here?" Mr. Getz 
ironically inquired. 

"Tillie could earn her own way as my little maid- 
helping me keep niy few rooms in the Normal 
School building and iloing my mending and darning 
tor me. And you know after she was graduated she 
could earn her living as a teacher." 

Margaret sav the look of feverish eagerness with 
which Tillie heard this proposal and awaited the out- 

Before her husband could answer, Mrs. (ietz offered 
a weak protest. 

"I hear the girls hired in town have to set away 
back in the kitchen and never dare set front-always 
away back, still. Tillie would n't like that. Nobody 

"Rut I shall live in a small suite of rooms at the 
school -a library, a bedroom, a bath-room, and a 
small ro( m next to mine that can be Tillie 's bedroom. 
We shiul take our meals in the school dining-room." 

"Well, that mebbe she would n't mind. But 'way 
back she would n't be satisfied to set. That 's why 
the country girls don't like to hire in town, because 
they dassent set front with the missus. Mere last 
market-day Sophy Haberbush she conceited she 'd 
like oncet to hire out in town, and she ast me would 
I go with her after market to sec a lady that adwer- 


Tillic: A Mennonite Maid 

tised in the noospaper fur a girl, and I saypd no, I 
wonid n't mind. So I went along. But Sophy she 
would n't take the place fur all. She ast the lady 
could she have her country company, Sundays— he 
was her company fur four years now and she 
would n't like to give him up neither. She tole the 
lady her company goes, still, as early as eleven. But 
the lady sayed her house must be darkened and locked 
at half-past ten a 'ready. She ast me was I Sophy's 
mother and I .sayed no, I 'm nothin' to her but a 
neighbor woman. And she tole Sophy, when they .eat, 
still, Sophy she could n't eat along. I guess she 
thought Sophy Haberbush was n't good enough. But 
she 's as good as any person. Her mother's name 
is Smith before she was married, and them Smiths 
was well fixed. She sayed Sophy 'd have to go in 
and out the back way and never out the front. Why, 
they say some of the town people 's that proud, if 
the front door-bell rings and the mi.ssus is standin' 
right there by it, she won't open that there front 
door but wants her hired girl to come clear from the 
kitchen to open it. Yes, you might n't b'lee me, but 
I heerd that a 'ready. And Mary Plertzog she tole me 
when she hired out there fur a while one winter in 
town, why, one day she went to the missus and she 
says, 'There 's two ladies in the parlor and I tole 'em 
you was helpin' in the kitchen,' and the missus she 
ast her, 'What fur did you tell 'em that? W^hy, 
I 'm that ashamed I don't know how to walk in the 
parlor!' And Mary she ast the colored gentleman 
that worked there, what, now, did the missus mean? 


Miss Margaret's Errand 

— nr.d he sayod, 'Well, Mary, you 'vc a heap to learn 
about the laws of society. Don't you know you must 
always leave on the ladies ain't doiii' nothin'?' 
ilary sayed that colored gentleman was so wonderful 
intelligent that way. lie 'd been a restaurant waiter 
there fur a while and so was throwed in with the 
best people, and he was, now, that tony and high- 
minded ! Och, I would n't hire in town ! To be sure. 
Mister can do what he wants. Well," she added, 
"it 's a quarter till five— I guess I'll put the pepper- 
mint on a while. Mister's folks '11 be hero till Ave." 

She moved away to the stove, and Margaret re- 
sumed her assault upon the stubborn ignorance of the 

"Think, Mr. Getz, what a differeneo all this would 
make in Tillie's life," she urged. 

"And you 'd be learnin' her all them years to up 
and sass her pop when she was growed and earnin' 
her own livin'!" he objected. 

"I certainly would not." 

"And all them years till she graduated she 'd be 
ro use to us where owns her," he said, as though his 
child were an item of live stock on the farm. 

"She could come home to you in the .sunnner va- 
cations," Margaret suggested. 

"Yes, and she 'd come that spoilt we could n't get 
no work out of her. No, if I hire her out winters, 
it '11 be where I kin draw her wages myself— where 's 
my right as her parent. What does a body have 
ehildern fur? To get no use out of 'em? It ain't 
no good you 're plaguin' nie. I ain't loaviu' her go. 
s 89 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

Tillie!" he commanded the child with a twirl of his 
thumb aud a motion of his head; "go set the supper- 

Margaret laid her arm about Tillie's shoulder. 
"Well, dear," she said sorrowfully, "we must give it 
all up, I suppose. But don't lose heart, Tillie. I 
shall not go out of your life. At least we can write 
to each other. Now," she concluded, bending and 
kissing her, "I must go, but you and I shall have some 
talks before you stop school, and before I go away 
from New Canaan." 

She pressed her lips to Tillie's in a long kiss, while 
the child clung to her in passionate devotion. Mr. Getz 
looked on with dull bewilderment. He knew, in a 
vague way, that every word the teacher spoke to the 
child, no less than those useless caresses, was "sid- 
ing along with the scholar ag'in' the parent," and 
yet he could not definitely have stated just how. He 
was quite sure that she would not dare so to defy hiin 
did she not know that she had the whip-handle in 
the fact that she did not want her "job" next year, 
and that the Board could not, except for definite 
offenses, break their contract with her. It was only 
in view of these considerations that she played her 
game of "plaguing" him by championing Tillie. 
Jacob Getz was incapable of recognizing in the 
teacher's attitude toward his child an unselfish in- 
terest and love. 

So, in dogged, sullen silence, he saw this extraor- 
dinary young woman take her leave and pass out of 
his house. 




IT soon "got put out" in New Canaan that Miss 
Margaret was "promised," and the doctor was 
surprised to find how inueh tlie news depressed him. 

"I did n't know, now, how much I was stucli on 
her! To think I can't have her even if I do want her" 
(up to this time he had had moments now and then 
of not feeling :osolutely sure of his inclination), 
"and that she 's promised to one of them tony 
Millersville Normal professors! If it don't beat all! 
Well," he drew a long, deep sigh as, lounging back in 
his buggy, he let his horse jog at his own gait along 
the muddy country road, "I jus' don't feel fur 
nothin' to-day. She was now certainly a sweet lady," 
he thought pensively, as though alluding to one who 
had died. "If there 's one sek I do now like, it 's the 
female— and she was certainly a nice party!" 

In the course of her career at William Penn, 
Miss Margaret had developed such a genuine fondness 
for the shaggy, good itured, generous, and unscru- 
pulous little doctor, that before she abandoned her 
post at the end of the term, and shook the dust of 
New Canaan from her feet, she took him into her con- 
fidence and begged him to take care of Tillie. 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

"She is an uneommnn child, doctor, and she must— 
I am determined that she must— be rescued from the 
life to which that father of hers would condemn her. 
You must help me to brins it about." 

"Nothin' I like better, Teacher, than gettin' ahead 
of Jake Getz," the doctor readily agreed. "Or 
obligin' you. To tell you the truth,— and it don't 
do no harm to say it now,— if you had n't been prom- 
ised, I was a-goin' to ast you myself! You took 
notice I gave you an inwitation there last week to 
go buggy-ridin' with me. That was Icadin' up to 
it. After ihat Sunday night you left me set up with 
you, I never conceited you was promised a 'ready to 
somebody else— and you even left me set with my 
feet on your chair-rounds!" The doctor's tone was a 
bit injured. 

"Am I to understand," inquired Miss Margaret, 
wonderingly, ' that the permission to sit with one 's 
feet on the rounds of a lady's chair is tal'en in New 
Canaan as an indication of her favor — and even of her 
inclination to matrimony!" 

"It 's looked to as meanin' gettin' down to biz!" 
the doctor affirme.i. 

"Then," meekly, "I humbly apologize." 

"That 's all right," genenmsly granted the doctor, 
"if you did n't know no better. But to be sure, I 'm 
some disappointed." 

"I 'm sorry for that!" 

"Would you of mebbe said yes, if you had n't of 
been promised a 'ready to one of them tony Millers- 
ville Normal professors," the doctor inquired cnri- 


"I'll do my darn best!" 

ously— "me bcin' a profossionnl pontlcman that 
way 1 ' ' 

"I 'm sure," replied this daughter of Eve, wliii 
wished to use the doctor in her plans for Tillie, "I 
should have been hijihly honored." 

The rueful, injured look on the doctor's face 
cleared to flattered complacency. "Well," he said. 
"I 'd like wcry well to do what you ast off of nie 
fur little Tillie (ietz. Hut, Teacher, what can a body 
do asiainst a feller like Jake (ietz? A body can't 
come between a man and his own offspring." 

"I know it," replied irargaret, sadly. "But just 
keep a little wateh over Tillie and help her when- 
ever you see that you can. Won't you? Promise 
me that yo\i wiii. You have several times helped her 
out (if trouble this winter. There may be other simi- 
lar opportunities. Between us, doctor, we may be 
able to make somethini; of Tillie." 

The doctor shook his head. "I 'II do my darn best. 
Teacher, but Jake Getz he 's that wonderful set. A 
little girl like Tillie could n't never make no head- 
way with Jake Getz standin' in her road. But any- 
ways, Teacher, I pass you my promise I 'II do whiit 
I can." 

Miss Margaret's parting advice and promises to 
Tillie so fired the girl's ambition and determination 
that some of the sting and anguish of parting from her 
who stood to the child for all the mother-love that 
her life had missed, was taken away in the burning 
purpose with which she found herself imbued, to bend 
her every thought and act in all the years to come 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

to the renchint; of that glorious goal which her idol- 
ized teacher set before her. 

"As soon as you are old enough," Miss Margaret 
ailnionished her, "you must assert yourself. Take 
your rights— your right to an education, to some 
girlish pleasures, to a little liberty. No matter what 
you have to suffer in the struggle, fight it out, for 
you will suffer more in the end if you let yourself 
be defrauded of everything which makes it worth 
while to have been born. Don't let yourself be 
sacrificed for those who not only will never appre- 
ciate it, but who will never be worth it. I think I do 
you no harm by telling you that you are worth all 
the rest of your family put The self- 
sacrifice which pampers the selfishness of others is 
rot creditable. It is weak. It is unworthy. Re- 
member what I say to you— make a fight for your 
rights, just as soon as you are old enough— your right 
to be a woman instead of a chattel and a drudge. 
And meantime, make up for your rebellion by being 
as obedient and helpful and affectionate to your 
parents as you can be, without destroying yourself." 

Such sentiments and ideas were almost a foreign 
language to Tillie, and yet, intuitively, she under- 
stood the import of them. In her loneliness, after 
Miss Margaret's departure, she treasured and brooii d 
over them day and night ; and very much as the primi- 
tive Christian courted martyrdom, her mind dwelt, 
with ever-growing resolution, upon the thought of 
the heroic courage with which, in the years to come, 
she would surely obey them. 


"I'll do my darn best!" 

Miss Margaret had promised Tillie that she would 
write to her, and the chiU, overlookinR the serious 
difficulties in the way, had eagerly promised in return 
to answer her letters. 

Once a week Mr. Getz called for mail at the village 
store, and Miss Margaret's first letter was laboriously 
read by him on his way out to the farm. 

He found it, on the whole, uninteresting, but he 
vaguely gathered from one or two sentences that the 
teacher, even at the distance of five miles, was still 
trying to "plague" him by "siding along with his 
child ag'in' her parent." 

"See here oncet," he said to Tillie, striding to the 
kitchen stove on his return home, the letter in 
his hand: "this here goes after them novel-books, 
in the Are! I ain't leavin' that there woman spoil 
you with no such letters like this here. Now you 

The gleam of actual wickedness in Tillie 's usually 
soft eyes, as she saw that longed-for letter tossed into 
the flames, would have startled her father had he 
seen it. The jrirl trembled from head to foot and 
turned a deathly '.vhite. 

"I hate you, hai.^ you, hate you!" her hot heart 
was saying as she literally glared at her tormentor. 
"I '11 never forget this— never, never; I '11 make you 
suffer for it-I will, I will !" 

But her white lips were dumb, and her impotent 
passion, having no other outlet, could only tear and 
bruise her own heart as all the long momini' 'he 
worked in a blind fury at her household tasks. 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

But after dinnor she did an unheard-of thing. 
Without asliinp permission, or pivinR any explana- 
tion to I itlier her father or lier stepmother, she tle- 
liberately abandoned lier usual Saturday afternoon 
work of cleaninjf up (she said to lierself that she did 
not care if the house rotted), and dressing herself, 
she walked straight through the kitchen before her 
stepmother's very eyes, and out of the house. 

Her father was out in the fields ivhen she undertook 
this high-handed step ; and her mother was so dumb 
with amazement at sueh unusual behavior that she 
offered but a weak firotest. 

"What '11 pop say to your doin' somcpin like this 
here!" she called (|uerulously after Tillie as she foi 
lowed her across the 'kitchen to the door. "He '11 
whip you, Tillie; and here 's all the sweepin' to be 

There war a strange gleam in Tillie 's eyes before 
which the woman shrank and held her peace. The 
.girl swej)* past her, almost walked over several of 
the children sprawling on the porch, and went out of 
the gate and up the road toward the village. 

"What 's the matter of her anyways?" the woman 
wonderingly said to herself as she went back to her 
work. ' is it that she 's so spited about that letter 
pop bu .it up 1 But what 's a letter to get spited 
about? There was enough worse things 'n that that 
she took off her pop without aetin' like this. Och, 
but he '11 whip her if he gets in here before she comes 
back. Where 's she goin' to, I wonder! Well, I 
never did! I would not be her if her pop finds how 



««rll do my darn best!" 

8ho wont off and let hor work! I wonder kIiiiII I 
mebbo tell him on her or not, if he don't (ti't in till 
Hhe 'h .lome n 'ready f" 

She meditated upon this problem of domestic econ- 
omy as she mechanically did her chores, her reflee- 
lions on Tillie taking an nnfriendly color as she felt 
flic weiKht of her stepdauclitcr's abiitidoned tasks 
added to the alrendy heavy burden of her own. 

It was to see the docfcjr that Tillie had set out for 
the village hotel. He was Ihi' only persou in all her 
little world to whom she felt she could t\irn foi- help 
in her sufferintt. Her "Aunty Em," the landlady at 
the hotel, was, she knew, very fcmd of her; but Tillie 
never thought of appealintf to her in her trouble. 

"I never thought when I promised Miss Murpiret 

I 'd write to her still where I 'd get the stamps fri 

and the paper and envelops," Tillie explained to the 
doctor as they sat in confidential consultation in the 
hotel parlor, the child's white face of distress a dial- 
lenpe to his faithful remembrance of his promise to 
the teacher. "And now I pot to find some way to l ; 
her know I did n't sec her letter to lue. Doc, wMl you 
write and tell her for me?" she pleaded. 

"My hand-writin' ain't .just so plain that way, 
Tillie. But I 'II give you all the paper and envelops 
and stamps you want to write on yourself to her." 

"Oh, Doc!" Tillie gazed at him in fervent grati- 
tude. "But mebbc I had n't ought to take 'em when I 
can't pay you." 

"That 's all right. If it '11 make you feel some 
easier, you kin pay me when you 're growed up and 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

teachin'. Your Miss Margaret she 'a bound to make 
a teacher out of you— or anyways a educated per- 
son. And then you kin pay me when you 're got your 
nice education to make your livin' with." 

"That 's what we '11 do then!" Tillie joyfully ac- 
cepted this proposal. "I '11 keep account and pay 
you back every cent, Doc, when I 'm earnin' my own 

"All right. That 's settled then. Now, fur your 
gef'iii' your letters, still, from Teacher. How are we 
goiu to work that there? I '11 tell you, Tillie!" he 
slapped the table as an idea came to him. "You write 
her off a letter and tell her she must write her letters 
to you in a envelop directed to me. And I '11 see as 
you get 'em all right, you bet! Ain't?" 

"Oh, Doc!" Tillie was affectionately grateful. 
"You are so kind to me! What would I do without 
you?" Tears choked her voice, filled her eyes, and 
rolled down her face. 

"Och, that 's all right," he patted her shoulder. 
"Ain't no better fun goin' fur me than gettin' ahead 
of that mean old Jake Getz!" 

Tillie drew back a bit shocked ; but she did not pro- 

Carrying in her bosom a stamped envelop, a sheet 
of paper and a pencil, the child walked home in a 
very different frame of mind from that in which she 
had started out. She shuddered as she remembered 
how wickedly rebellious had been her mood that 
morning. Never before had such hot and dreadful 
feelings and thoughts burned in her heart and brain. 

"I'll do my darn best!" 

In an undefined way, the growing girl realized that 
such a state of mind and heart was unworthy her 
sacred friendship with Miss Margaret. 

"I want to be like her— and she was never ugly in 
her feelings like what I was all morning!" 

When she reached home, she so effectually made 
up for lost time in the vigor with which she attacked 
the Saturday cleaning that Mrs. Getz, with unusual 
forbearance, decided not to tell her father of her in- 

Tillie wrote her first letter to Miss Margaret, by 
stealth, at midnight. 



A CRUCIAL stmpprlc with hor father, to which 
Ixitli Tillio iiiid .Miss Martiiuvt liiul tViirfiilly 
looki'd forward, eaiiip about inuch sooner than Tillio 
had anticipated. The occasion of it, tocj, was not at 
all what she had e.xiH'cted and even planned it to he. 

It was her conversion, just a year after she had 
been taken out of scliool, to the ascetic faith of the 
Xew llennonitcs that precipitated the crisis, this con- 
version heinj: wroii!;ht by a sermon which she hoard 
at the funeral of a neii;hborinir farmer. 

A funeral anionj; the farmers of Lancaster County 
is a festive occasion, the most popular form of dissi- 
pation known, brinKinfr the whole population forth as 
in some regions tliej' turn out to a circus. 

Adam Schnnk's death, bavins been caused by his 
own hand in a fit of despair over the loss of some 
money he had unsuceessfully invested, was so sudden 
and shocking that the efifeet produced on Canaan 
Township was profound, not to say awful. 

As for Tillie, it was the first event of the kind that 
had ever come within her experience, and the relijrious 
sentiments in which she had been reared aroused in 
her, in common with the rest of the connnunity, 


Adam Schunk's funeral 

a superstitious fear before this sudden and solemn 
ciillinf; to judgment of one whom they had all known 
so familiarly, and who had so wickedly taken his 
own life. 

During; the funeral at the farm-house, she sat in the 
crowded pai'lor where the cotilin stood, and though 
surrounded by people, she felt strangely alone with 
this weird nsystery of Death which for the first time 
she was realizing. 

" er mother was in the kitchen with the other 
farmers' wives of the neighborlKjod who were help- 
ing to prepare the immense f|uantity of food neces- 
sary to feed the large crowd that always attended 
a funeral, every one of whom, by the etiquette of the 
county, remained to supper after the services. 

Her father, being among the hired hostlers of the 
occasion, was outside in the barn. Jlr. Getz was 
head hostler at every funeral of the district, being 
detailed to assist and superintend the work of the 
other half dozen nu>n employed to take charge of 
the "teams" that belonged to the funeral gue.sts, who 
came in families, companies, and crowds. That so 
well-to-do a farmer as .T:''-" Getz, one who owned his 
farm "clear," should n. d a practice of hiring out 
as a funeral hostler, with the humbler farmers who 
only rented the land they tilled, was one of the facts 
which gave him his reputation for being "keen on 
the penny." 

Adam Schunk, deceased, had been an "Evangel- 
ical," but his wife being a New Mennonite. a sect 
largely prevailing in scuitheastern Pennsylvania, the 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

funeral services were conducted by two ministers, one 
of them a New Mennonite and the other an Evangeli- 
cal. It was the sermon of the New Mennonite that 
led to Tillie 's conversion. 

The New Mennonites being the most puritanic and 
exclusive of all sects, earnestly regarding themselves 
as the custodians of the only absolutely true light, 
their ministers insist on certain prerogatives as the 
condition of giving their services at a funeral. A New 
Mennonite preacher will not consent to preach after a 
"World's preacher"— he must have first voice. It 
was therefore the somber doctrine of fear preached 
by the Reverend Brother Abram Underwocht which 
did its work upon Tillie 's conscience so completely 
that the gentler Gospel set forth afterward by the 
Evangelical brother was scarcely heeded. 

The Reverend Brother Abram Underwocht, in the 
"plain" garb of the Mennonite sect, took his place at 
the foot of the stairway opening out of the sitting- 
room, and gave expression to his own profound sense 
of the solemnity of the occasion by a question intro- 
ductory to his sermon, and asked in a tone of heavy 
import: "If this ain't a blow, what is it!" 

Handkerchiefs were promptly produced and agi- 
tated faces hidden therein. 

Why this was a "blow" of more then usual force. 
Brother Underwocht proceeded to explain in a blood- 
curdling talk of more than an hour's length, in which 
he set forth the New Mennonite aoctt-ine that none 
outside of the only true faith of Christ, as held 
and taught by the New Mennonites, could be saved 


Adam Schunk's funeral 

from the fire vvliieh cannot bo (lucni^hed. With the 
heroism born of deep eonvietion, he stoiealiy Uisre- 
jiarded the feelings of the bereaved family, and af- 
firmed that the deceased having belonged to one of 
"the World's churches," no hoi)e could be enter- 
tained for him, nor eould his grieving widow look 
forward to meeting him again in the heavenly home 
to whieli she, a saved New Jlennonite, was tlestined. 

Taking advantage of the fact that at least on- 
third of those present were non-Mennonites, Brother 
Underwocht followed the usual course of the preach- 
ers of his sect on such an occasion, and made of his 
funeral sermon an exposition of the whole field of 
New Mennonite faith and practice. Beginning in the 
Garden of Eden, he graphically described that re- 
nowned locality as a type of the Paradise from which 
Adam Schunk and others who did not "give them- 
selves up" were excluded. 

"It must have been a magnificent scenery to Al- 
mighty Gawd," he said, referring to the beauties of 
man's first Paradise. "But how soon to be snatched 
by sin from man's mortal vision, when Eve started 
that conversation with the enemy of her soul! Be- 
loved, that was an unfortunate circumstance! And 
you that are still out of Christ and in the world, have 
need to pray fur Gawd's help, his aid, and his as- 
sistance, to enable you to overcome the enemy who 
that day was turned loose upon the world— tliut 
Gawd may see fit to have you w hen you 're done lii>i-e 
a 'ready. Heed the solenm warning of this poor soul 
now laying before vyu cold in death! 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

" 'Know that you 're a transient creature, 
Soon to fade and pass away.' 

Even Lazarus, wlicre [who] was raised to life, was 
not raised t'ur never to die no more!" 

The only comfort he could oil'er to this stricken 
household was that lie knew how bad tliey felt, hiivirnr 
liiid a brother who had died with e(iual suddenness 
and also without hope, as he "had suosode hisself 
with a gun." 

This lengthy sermon was followed by a hymn, sung 
a line at a time at the preacher's dictation; 

"The body we now to the srave will commit, 
To there see corruption till Jesus sees fit 
A sp' it'al body for it to prepare, 
Which henceforth then shall immortality wear." 

The New Mennonites being forbidden by the 
"Rules of the Meeting" ever to hear a prayer or 
sermon by one who is not "a member," it was neces- 
sary, at the end of the Reverend Abram Underwoeht 's 
sermon, for all the Jlennonites present to retire to a 
room apart and sit behind closed doors, while the 
Evangelical brother put forth his false doctrine. 

So religiously stirred was Tillie by the occasion 
that she was strongly tempted to rise and follow into 
the kitchen those who were thus retiring from the 
sound of the false teacher's voice. But her conver- 
sion not yet being complete, she kept her place. 

No doubt it was not so much the character of 

I 06 

Adam Schunk's funeral 

Brother Undcrwoeht's Now Jlcnnonito sermon wliich 
effected this state in Tillie as tlv;t the spiritual eomli- 
tion of the young (;irl, just awakeninf; to her woman- 
hood, with all its mysterious eravins;, its rolijrious 
hroodintr, its emotional susceptibility, led her to re- 
siiond with her whole soul to the first appeal to her 

Absorbed in her mournful contemplation of her 
own deep "conviction of sin," she did not heed the 
singing, led by the Evangelical brother, of the hymn, 

"Rock of Ages, clept for me," 

nor did she hear a word of his discourse. 

At the conclusion of the house services, and be- 
fore the journey to the graveyard, th(' supper was 
served, first to the mourners, and then to all those 
who expected to follow the body to the grave. The 
third table, for those who had prepared the meal, and 
the fourth, for the hostlers, were set after the depar- 
ture of the funeral procession. 

Convention has prescribed that the funeral meal 
shall consist invariably of cold meat, cheese, all sorts 
of stewed dried fruits, pickles, "lemon rice" (a dish 
never omitted) , and coffee. 

As no one household possesses enough dishes for 
such an occasion, two chests of dishes owned by the 
Mennonite church are sent to the house of mourn- 
ing whenever needed by a member of the Meeting. 

The Menuouites present suffered a shock to their 
feelings upon the appearance of the widow of the 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

deci'ascd Adam Sehunk, for— unprecedented circum- 
stance !— she wore over her black Mennonite hood a 
crape veil ! This was an irnovation nothiuf? short of 
revolutionary, and the brethren and sisters, to whom 
their prescribed form of dress was sacred, were be- 
wildered to know how they ought to regard such a 
digression from their rigid customs. 

"I guess Mandy 's proud of herself with her weil," 
Tillie 's siepinother whispered to her as she gave the 
girl a tray of coffee-cups to deliver about the table. 

But Tillie 's thoughts were inward bent, and she 
heeded not what went on about her. Pear of death 
and the judgment, a longing to find the peace which 
could come only with an assured sense of her salva- 
tion, darkness as to how that peace might be found, 
a sense of the weakness of her flesh and spirit 
before her father's undoubted opposition to her 
"turning plain," as well as his certain refusal to 
supply the wherewithal for her Mennonite garb, 
should she indeed be led of the Spirit to "give her- 
self up,"— all these warring thoughts and emotiuns 
stamped their lines upon the girl's sweet, troubled 
countenance, as, blind and deaf to her surroundings, 
she lent her helping hand almost as one acting in a 




THE psychical and, considering the critical age of 
the young giri, the physiological processes by 
which Tillie was finally led to her conversion it is 
not necessary to analyze; for the experience is too 
universal, and ditt'ers too slightly in individual cases, 
to require comment. Perhaps in Tillie's case it was 
a more intense and permanent emotion than with 
the average convert. Otherwise, deep and earnest 
though it was with her, it was not unique. 

The New Mennonite sermon which had been the 
instrument to determine the channel in which should 
tlow the emotional tide of her awakening woman- 
hood, had convinced her that if she would be saved, 
she dare not compromise with the world by joining 
one of those churches as, for instance, the Jlethodist 
or the Evangelical, which permitted every sort of 
worldly indulgence,— fashionable dress, attendance 
at the circus, voting at the polls, musical instruments, 
"pleasure-seeking," and many other things which the 
Word of G^d forbade. She must give herself up to 
the Lord absolutely and entirely, forswearing all the 
world's allurements. The New Jlennonites alone, of 
all the Christian sects, lived up to this scriptural 
ideal, and with them Tillie would cast her lot. 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

This nustcro hotly of (.'hristiiuis cdukl not so easily 
liavi- won liiT lifiiif had it forbiildcii her pliprishi'il 
ambition, foiistanlly fnconnijU'd iiiiil stiniiiliiticl l)y 
Miss Martiarct, to oduoatc herself. Foilunately I'nr 
her peaee of mind, the New Mt'nnonites were not. 
like the Aniish, "enemies to tdneation." though to 
be snre, as the preaeher, Brother Abram Underwoelil, 
reminded her in her private talk with him, "To be 
dressy, or too well educated, or sty'ish, did n't belong' 
to Christ and the apostli'S; they were plain folks." 

It was in the lull of work that came, even in the 
Getz family, on Sunday afternoon, that Tillie, suni- 
moniuf! to her aid all the fi'rvor of her new-found 
faith, ventured to face the ordeal of oi)eninj; up with 
her father the suliject of her conversion. 

lie was sittins; on the kitchen porcli, dozing' over 
a big Bible spread open on liis knee. The children 
were playing on the lawn, and Mrs. Getz was takirj; 
her Sunday afternoon nap on the kitchen settee. 

Tillie seated herself on the porcli stej) at her fa- 
ther's feet. Her eyes were clear and bright, but her 
face burned, and her heart beat heavily in her heav- 
ing bosom. 

"Pop !" she timidly roused him from his dozing. 

"Heh?" he muttered gruffly, opening his eyes and 
lifting his head. 

"Pop, I got to speak somcpin to you." 

An unusual not.- in her voice arrested him, and, 
wide awake now, he looked down at her inquiringly. 

"Well? AVhat, then?" 

"Pop! I feel to be plain." 

I lO 

«< Pop I I feel to be plain " 

"You! Fi'il fur turnin' pliiiii! Wliy, ynu ain't 
old onim^'h tii kiKiw thr mciiniii' (if it ! What il' .vnu 
want abdut that tluTc tlu'olo^'j- ?" 

"I 'ni I'limtiM'n, |ki|). Ami tin' Spirit has h'd im> 
Id si'c the linht, I havi' fiavc iiiysclf up," sliu iirtinncil 
((uictly, but with a ([uivcr in her voiiT, 

"Yiiu have f;avc yourself up!"' lic'r I'athiT incrcdu- 
Icuisly ri'pi'ati'd. 

"Yes, sir. And I 'in loosed of nil thins.'s that h.'- 
luiiK to the world. Aiul now I feel fur wearin' the 
plain dress, fur that 's aeeordini; to Seripture, whieli 
says, 'all is wanity !' " 

Never before iii her life had Tillie sjioken .so many 
words to her father at one time, and ho stared at her 
in astonishment. 

" Ves, you 're ^'rowiii' up, that 's so. I ain't no- 
tieed how fast you «as urowin'. It don't seem no 
time since you was born. But it 's fourteen years 
back a 'ready— yes. that 's .so. Well, Tillie, if you 
feel fur .joinin' ehureh, you 're pot to join on to the 
Kvansrelieals. I ain't leavin' you follow no such 
i..insense as to turn plain. That don't belonfj to us 
Oetzos. We 're Evanfrelicals this Ion;; time a 'ready." 

"Aunty Era was a Oetz, and s!ie 's gave herself 
up Ions ago." 

"Well, .she 's the only one by the name Ootz that 
I ever knowed to be so foolish! I 'm an Evangelical, 
and what 's good enough fur j-our pop will do yoii, 
I guess ! ' ' 

"The Evangelicals ain't neeording to Scripture, 
pop. They have wine at the Comnuinion, and the 
1 I I 

Tillie: A Mennonitc Maid 

Bible BBys, 'Tasfr not, hiindlo not,' and 'Look not 
upon the wine when it is reil.' " 

That she should criticize the Evanptelicnls and pro- 
nounce them unscriptural was disinte(tratin(? to all 
his ideas of the subjection of children. His sun- 
l)urneil face Brew darl<er. 

"Mebbe you ilon't twist that there Hook! Oawd 
he would n't of created wine to be made if it would 
be wroni; fur to look at it ! You can't come over that, 
can you? Them Scripture you spoke, just mean not 
to drink to drunkenness, nor cat to K'uttonncss. 
But," he sternly added, "it ain't fur you to answer 
up to your pop ! I ain't leavin' you dress plain— and 
that 's all that 's to say!" 

"I (fot to do it, pop," Tillie 's low voice answered. 
"I must obey to Christ." 

"What you sayin' to me? That you got to do 
somepin I tole you you have n't the dare to do? *• ' 
you sayin' that to mc, Tillie? Ileh?" 

"I got to obey to Christ," she repeated, her face 

"You think! Well, we '11 see about that oncet! 
You leave me see you obeyin' to any one before your 
pop, and you '11 soon get learnt better! How do you 
bring it out that the Scripture says, 'Childern, obey 
your parents'?" 

" 'Obey your parents in the Lord,' " Tillie 

"Well, you '11 be obeyin' to the Scripture and your 
parent by joinin' the Evangelicals. D' you under- 


" Pop 1 1 feel to be plain " 

"The EvanK<'licals tlon t hold to Scripture, pop. 
They enlist. And we don't read of Christ takin' 
any interest in war." 

"Yes, but in the Old Dispensation them old kings 
did it, and certainly they was Kood mi'n ! They 're 
in the Bible 1" 

"But we 're liviti' under the \ew Dispensation. 
And a many things i.s ehantied to what they were 
under the Old. Pop, I ean't dress fashionable any 
uiiire. " 

"Now, look here, Tillie, I oujjht n't argy no words 
with you, fur you 're my child and you 're got the 
right to mind me just because I say it. But can 't you 
see the inconsistentness of the plain people? Now 
a New Mennonite he says his conscience won't lea\C' 
him wear grand (wear worldly dress] but he '11 
make his livin' in Lancaster city by kecpin' a jcw'lry- 
store. And yet them Mennonites won't leave a sister 
keep a miUinery-shop ! " 

"But," Tillie tried 'c hold her ground, "there 's 
watches, pop, and clocks that jew'lers sells. They 're 
useful. We got to have watches and clocks. Millin- 
ery is only pleasing to the eye." 

"Well, the women could n't go bare-headed nei- 
ther, could they? And is ear-rings and such things 
like them useful? \nd all them fancy things they 
keep in their dry-goods stores? Och, they 're aw- 
ful inconsistent that way! I ain't got no use fur New 
Jlcmionites ! Why, here one day, when your mom 
was livin' yet, I owed a New Mennonite six cents, 
and I handed him a dime and he could n't change it 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

out, but he saycd he M send mo the four cents. V't'il, 
I waited and waited, and he never sent it. Then I 
bought sueh a postal-eard i.nd wrote it in town to 
him .yet. Anu that did n't fetch the four cents 
neithiT. I wrote to him backward and forward till 
I had wrote three cards a 'ready, and then I seen I 
would n't train nothin' by writin' one more if ho did 
pay me, and if lio did n't pay I 'd lose that otlier 
cent yet. So I let it. Now that 's a New Mennonite 
fur you! Do you call that consistcntness?" 

"But it 's the Word of Gawd I go by, pop, not 
by the weak brethren." 

"Well, you '11 go by your pop's word and not 
join to them New Mennonites! Now I don't want to 
hear no more ! ' ' 

"Won't you buy me the plain garb, pop!" 

"Buy you the plain garb! Now look here, Tillie. 
If ever you ast me again to leave you .join to anything 
but the Evangelicals, or speak somepin to me about 
buyin' you the plain garb, I 'm usin' the strap. Do 
you hear me?" 

"Pop," said Tillie, solemnly, her face very white, 
"I '11 always obey to you where I can— where I think 
it 's right to. But if you wcm't buy me the plain 
dross and cap, Aunty Em Wackernagel 's going to. 
She says she never knew what happiness it was to be 
had in this life till she gave herself up and dressed 
plain and loosed herself from all worldly things. 
And I feel .just like her." 

"All right— just you come wearin' them Mennonite 


" Pop ! I feel to be plain " 

costumps 'round me oncot! I '11 burn 'om up liko 
what I burned up ''am novels where you lent olT of 
your teacher! i.kI 1 '11 pn you so 's you won't 
try it a second u:" to do Alr.l I tell you you have n't 
the dare to do ! 

The color flowed back n.,o Tillie's white face as he 
spoke. She was crimson now as she rose from the 
ioreh step an<l turned away from him to !^o into the 

Jake Getz realized, as with a sort of dull wonder 
his eyes followed her, that there was a somethint; in 
his daughter's face this day. and in the bearinf; of her 
young frame as she walked before him, whicli he was 
not wont to see, which he did not understand, and 
with which he felt he could not cope. The vague sense 
of uneasiness which it gave him strengthened his re- 
solve to crush, with a strong hand, this budding in- 

Two uneventful weeks passed by, during whieli 
Tillie's ([uiet and dutiful demeanor almost <lisanned 
her father's threatening watchfulness of her; so that 
when, one Sunday afternoon, at four o'clock, she re- 
turned from a walk to her Aunty Em Wackernagel "s, 
clad in the meek garb of the New Menncmites, his 
amazement at her intrepidity was even greater than 
his anger. 

The younger children, in higli glee at what to theoi 
was a most comical transformation in their elder 
sister, danced around her with shrieks of laughter, 
crying out at the funny white cap which she wore, 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 


and the prim little three-cornered cape falling over 
her bosom, designed modestly to cover the vanity of 
woman's alluring form. 

Mrs. Getz, mechanically moving about the kitchen 
to get the supper, paused in her work only long 
enough to remark with stupid astonishment, "Did 
you, now, get religion, Tillie?" 

"Yes, ma'am. I 've gave myself up." 

"Where did you come by the plain dress?" 

"Aunty Em bought it for me and helped me make 

Her father had followed her in from the porch and 
now came up to her as .she stood in the middle of 
the kitchen. The children scattered at his approach. 

"You go up-stairs and take them clo'es off!" he 
commanded. "I ain't leavin' you wear 'em one hour 
in this house!" 

"I have no others to put on, pop," Tillie gently an- 
swered, her soft eyes meeting his with an absence of 
fear which puzzled and baffled him. 

"Where 's your others, then?" 

"I 've let 'em at Aunty Em's. She took 'em in 
exchange for my plain dress. She says she can use 
'em on 'Manda and Rebecca." 

"Then you wnlk yourself right back over to the 
hotel and get 'em back off of her, and let them clo'es 
you got on. Go ! " lie roughly pointed to the door. 

"She would n't give 'em back to me. She 'd know 
I had n't ought to yield up to temptation, and she 'd 
help me to resist by refusing me my fashionable 


<' -^op! I feel to be plain" 

"You tell her if you come back home without 'em, 
I 'm whippin' you! She '11 give 'em to you then." 

"She 'd say my love to Christ ought not to be so 
weak but I can boar anything you want to do to me, 
pop. She had to take an awful lot off of gran 'pop 
when she turned plain. Pop," she added earnestly, 
'no matter what you do to me, I ain't givin' 'way; 
I 'm standin' firm to .serve Christ!" 

"We '11 see oncet!" her father grimly answered, 
striding across the room and taking his strap from its 
corner in the kitchen cupboard he grasped Tillie's 
slender shoulder and lifted his heavy arm. 

And now for the first time in her life his wife 
interposed a word against his brutality. 


In astonishment he turned to her. She was as pale 
as her stepdaughter. 

"Jake! If she has got religion, you '11 have 
awful bad luck if you try to get her away from 

"I ain't savin' she can't get religion if she wants! 
To be sure, I brung her up to be a Christian. Rut 
I don't hold to this here nonsense of turnin' plain, 
and I tole her so, and she 's got to obey to me or I 'II 
learn her!" 

"You '11 have bad luck if you whip her fur somepin 
like this here," his wife repeated. "Don't j-ou mind 
how when Aunty Em turned plain and gran 'pop he 
acted to her so ugly that way, it did n 't rain fur two 
weeks and his crops was spoilt, and he got that boil 
yet on his neck! Yes, you '11 see oncet," she warned 


I I 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

I' il 

him, "if yim use the si nip fur sdiiicpin like what this 
is, what you Ml inobho ('(iiiic by yet!" 

"Och, you 'ro foolish!" ho answcrod, but his tone 
was not contiiU'iit. His raised arm dropped to his 
side and he looked uneasily into Tillie's faee, while 
he still kept his painful f;Tasp of her shoulder. 

The Joft brijiht eyes of the younf; f;irl met his, not 
with defianee. but with a li^ht in them that somehow 
broufrht before his mind the look her mother had 
worn the nij;ht she died. Superstition was in liis 
blood, and he shuddered inwardly at his uncanny 
sense of mystery before this unfamiliar, illumined 
countenanee of his daushter. The e.xalted soul of 
the i;irl east a spell which even /iw unsensitive spirit 
could keenly feel, and something stirred in his breast 
—the latent sense of aflfectionate, protecting father- 

Tillie saw and felt this sudden change in him. She 
lifted her free hand and laid it on his arm, her lips 
(piivering. "Father!" she half whispered. 

She had never called him that before, and it seemed 
strangely to bring home to him what, in this crisis 
of his child's life, was due to her from him, her only 
living parent. 

Suddenlj' he released her shoulder and tossed away 
the strap. "I see I would n't be doin' right to oppose 
you in this here, Tillie. Well, I 'm glad, fur all, that 
I ain't whippin' you. It goes ag'in' me to hit you 
since you was sick that time. You 're gettin' full big, 
too, to be punishei' that there way, fur all I always 
sayed still I 'd never leave a child of mine get ahead of 

■(Juwil blr>s mil. Miy .liiii(.'iitir. iiml In Ip yuu tii 
siTVc 111,- Liiril iH'f.-jiliilil,' I'" 

uPop! I feci to be plain" 

,„o, no .natter how bi, tUoy --.->-« l^X 

ain't liimlonn' you. i, . InWlli-s hand 

To Tillio's uuspoakable an.azonu.nt ho l.ud h s han 
,„;,,er hoaa and hoUl it thor. for an .nstant. <- a 1 
;; you, n,y aau^hto.-, and help you to «cr.e the 
Lord acceptable!" 

il',!,.., . .~»d I-., it •.«. <• ■» -« '"""" 




TILLIE wrote to Miss Margaret (she could not 
learn to call her Mrs. Lansing) how that she had 
"given herself up and turned plain," and Miss Mar- 
garet, seeing how sacred this experience was to the 
young girl, treated the subject with all respect and 
even reverence. 

The correspondence between these two, together 
with the books which from time to time came to the 
girl from her faithful friend, did more toward Tillie's 
growth and development along lines of which her pa- 
rents had no suspicion, that all the schooling at 
"William Penn, under the instruction of the average 
"Millersville Normal," could ever have accomplished. 

And her tongue, though still very provincial, soon 
lost much of its native dialect, through her constant 
reading and study. 

Of course whenever her father discovered her with 
her books he made her suffer. 

"You 're got education enough a'ready," he would 
insist. "And too much fur your own good. Look 
at me-I was only educated with a Testament and a 
spelling-book and a slate. We had no such a black- 
boards even, to recite on. And do 1 look as if I need 
to know any more 'n what I know a'ready?" 


Absalom keeps company 

Tillie hore her punishments liko a martyr— and 
continued surreptitiously to rend and to study when- 
ever and whatever she could; and not even the ex- 
treme conscientiousness of a New Meunonite faltered 
at this filial dis 'be.liiaee. She obeyed her father im- 
plicitly, however tyrannical he was, to the point 
where he bade her suppress and kill all the best that 
(Jod had fjiven her of mind and heart. Then she re- 
volted; and she never for an instant doubted her en- 
tire justification in eludiuj,' or defying; liis authority. 
There was another influence besides her books and 
Miss Margaret's letters which, unconsciously to lier- 
self, was edueatint; Tillie at this time, ller growing 
fondness for stealing off to the woods not far fi'on" 
the farm, of climbing to the liill-top beyond the 
creek, or walking over the fields under tlie wide sky 
—not only in the spring and sunnner, but at all times 
of the year— was yielding her a richness, a depth and 
breadth, of experience that nothing else could have 
given her. 

A nature deeply sensitive to the mysterious appeal 
of sky and green earth, of deep, shady forest and glis- 
tening water, when unfolding in daily touch with 
these things, will learn to see life with a broader, 
saner mind and catch glimpses and vistas of truth 
with a clearer vision than can ever come to one whose 
most susceptible years are spent walled in and over- 
topped by the houses of the city that shut out and 
stifle "the larger thought of God." And Tillie, in 
spite of her narrowing New Mennonite "convictions," 
did reach through her growing love for and intimacy 

Tillic: A Mennonite Maid 

with Nnturo a piano of thought and foclinjj which 
was iniirii'asiiraljly above her pi'rfiinctoiy creed. 

Sometimes the emiitimis excited \iy her solitary 
walks Kavo the yountr fiirl greater pain than happi- 
ness—yet it was a pain she wonid not have been 
spared, for she knew, thouf;h the knowledge was ni'ver' 
I'nririnlated in her thoufrlit. that in some precious, in- 
liniate way lier snft'erin^' set her aparl and above the 
villagers and farnnn« people about her— those whose 
placid, conteided eyes never strayed from the potato- 
jialch to tlic distant hills, or lifted themselves from 
tlie fjoodly tobacco- fields to the wide blue heavens. 

Thus, cramped and croshin^; as much of her life 
was, it had— us all conditions must have— its compen- 
sations: and nii. ;• of the very circumstances wliieh at 
the time scenic i .nost unbearable brought forth in 
later years rich fruit. 

And so, living under lier father's watchful eye and 
relentless rule,- with long days of drudgery and out- 
ward ac(iuiesecnee iu liis .scheme of life that she 
devote herself, mind, body, and soul, to the service 
(d' himself, his wife, and their children, and in re- 
turn to be poorly fed and scantily clad,— Tillic never- 
theless grew up in a world apart, hidden to tlic sealed 
vision of those about her ; as unknown to them in her 
real life as though they had never looked upon her 
face; and while her father never for an instant 
doubted the girl's entire submission to him, she was 
day by day waxing stronger in her resolve to heed 
Jliss Margaret's constant advice and make a fight for 
her right to the education her father had denied her, 

Absalom keeps company 

nml for n lifo otlicr than that to which his will would 

(MUlsi),'!! hlT. 

Thire wcro dark times when Iut steadfast purpose 
seeiii.'d impossible of fulfilment. But Tillie felt she 
would lather die in the structile than become the S(jrt 
of apathelic household drudj;e she beheld in her step- 
mother-a condition into which it would be so easy 
to sink, once she loosed her wai-'on from its star. 

It was when Tillie was seventeen years okl-a 
slight, frail girl, with a look in her eyes as of one 
who lives in two worlds— that Absalom I'untz, one 
Sunday evenin-i in the fall of the yenr, saw her safe 
h<ime from meetinf; and asked permission t(j "keep 
c-omp'ny'* with her. 

Now that iTiorniiif; Tillie had received a letter from 
.\ IMarftarct (sent to her. as always. und<>r cover 
to the doctor), and Absalom's company on the way 
fnmi church was a most unwi'lcome interruption to 
her happy brooding' over the precious messa<rcs of love 
and helpfulness which those letters always brought 

A request for permission to "keep comp'ny" with 
a young lady meant a very definite tiling in Canaan 
Township. "Let 's try each other," was what it sig- 
nified; and acceptance of the proposition involved on 
each side an exclusion of all association with others 
of the opposite se.\. Tillie of course understood 

"But you 're of the World's people, Absalom," 
her soft, sweet voice answered him. They were walk- 
ing along in the dim evening on the high dusty pike 

Tillie: A Mcnnonitc Maid 

toward tho (ii'lz fiinii. "And I "iii a im'iiibrr of iiii'cl- 
intf. I can't marry (iiit of the incctiii;.'." 

"This \itn\t tiiiii' a'ri'ndy, Tillii', I was thinkin' 
id)()iit (jivin' myself up and twriiin' plain," hf as- 
survd ht'r. "To be sure, I know I 'd liavo to, to );it 
you. You 'vi' toiik nolici', ain't ymi, liow rt'u'lar 1 
'tend meeting? Will, oncct mi' and you kin sc'lllr 
tliis here qui'stion of cittin' marrinl, I 'm turnin' 
plain as soon as I otlnrwiso |pnssil)ly| kin." 

"I havi' ni'vi'i tliouKl't about keeping company, 

"Nearly all the nirls around here as old as you 
has their friend a 'ready. " 

Absalom was twenty years old, stoutly built and 
coarse-featured, a di'eply in^irained obstinacy beiii); 
the only characteristic his heavy countenance su^r- 
gcsted. lie still attended the distriet school for a few 
months of the winter term. His father was one of the 
richest farmers of the neighborhood, and Absalom. 
being his only child, was considered a matrimonial 

"Is there nobody left for you but mc?" Tillie in- 
quired in a matter-of-fact tone. The conjugal re- 
lation, as she saw it in her father's home and in the 
neighborhood, with its entirely practical basis and 
utter absence of sentiment, had no attraction or inter- 
est for her, and she had long since made up her mind 
that she would nime of it. 

"There ain't much choice," granted Absalom. 
"But I anyways would pick out you, Tillie." 

"Why meJ" 


Absalom keeps company 

"I (liiiino. I tiikc to .vou. Anil I snn a'nuily Imw 
lianily you whs at the work still. .Mom says, too, 
you 'il iiiaki' nil' a jrooil housrlioopir. " 

Tillii' iifviT ilri'aMii'il of ii'smtiiij: this prai'lii'al ap- 
proval of her qnalilirations for tlii' post with uhii'li 
AhsahiiM ilisitiiii'il to honor lior. It was bivauso of 
hi'r familiarity with sui'h matrimonial Mandiirils as 
thi'sc that from lifr fhililhooil up sIli' hail ilflcrniiiiiil 
novor to marry. From what slii' «atlirri'il of Miss 
.Maiwirit's iriarricil lil'o, throuv'li lior letters, ami from 
what shi' 1,'arncil from llio books ami mauM/ims 
whii'h shf rrail, slio know that out in llio siroal un- 
known worlil thi'ii' oxistcil anothfi' basis of m.irriaKi'. 
I5ut sho dill not uiiili'r'^lanil it anil sho iiovi'r IhouKlit 
about it. Thr strongly , motional tido of b.'r jiirlliood, 
\i[> to this timo, hail born absorbod by h, r. iiiarkablo 
love for Miss Martrari4 and by hor ouruest rolif;ious- 

"Thcro 's no use In your wastiii),' your time keepinj,' 
company with me, Absalom. I never intend to uiurry. 
i 'v> made up my mind." 

"Is it that your |iup won't leave you, or what- 
ever f" 

"I never asked him. I don't know what he would 

"Mom spoke soniepin about mebbo your pop lie 'd 
want to keep you at home, you bein' so useful to 
him and your mom. Hut I sayeil whin you come 
eiirhteen, you 're your own boss. Ain't, Tillie?" 

"Father probably would ob.iect to my marryin<; 
because I 'm needed at home," Tillie agreed. "That 's 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

why they would n 't leave me go to school after I was 
eleven. But I don't want to marry." 

"You leave me be your steady friend, Tillie, and 
I '11 soon get you over them views," urged Absalom, 

But Tillie shook her head. "It would just waste 
your time, Absalom." 

In Canaan Township it would have been considered 
highly dishonorable for a girl to allow a young man 
to "sit up with her Sundays" if she definitely knew 
she would never marry him. Time meant money, and 
even the time spent in courting must be judiciously 

"I don't mind if I do wa.ste my time settin' up with 
you Sundays, Tillie. I take to you that much, li 's 
something surprising, now ! WI you give me the 
dare to come next Sunday?" 

"If you don't mind wasting your time—" Tillie 
reluctantly granted. 

"It won't be wasted. I '11 soon get you to think 
different to what you think now. You just leave me 
set up with you a couple Sundays and see!" 

"I know I '11 never think any different, Absalom. 
You must not suppose that I will." 

"Is it somepin you 're got ag'in' me?" he asked 
incredulously, for he knew he was considered a prize. 
"I 'm well-fixed enough, ain't I? I 'd make you a 
good purvidcr, Tillie. And I don't addict to no bad 
habits. I don't chew. Nor I don't drink. Nor I 
don't swear any. The most I ever sayed when I was 
spited was 'confound it.' " 


k i « 

Absalom keeps company 

"It is n't that I have anything against you, Ab- 
salom, especially. But-look here, Absalom, if you 
were a woman, would you marry? What does a 
woman gain?" 

Absalom stared at her in the dusky evening light of 
the high road. To ask of his slow-moving brain that 
it ouestion the foundations of the universe and wres- 
tle with a social and psychological problem like this 
made the poor youth dumb with bewilderment. 

"Why should a woman get married?" Tillie re- 

"That 's what a woman 's fur," Absalom found his 
tongue to say. 

"She loses everything and gains nothing." 

"She gets kep'," Absalom argued. 

"Like the horses. Only not so carefully. \o, 
thank you, Absalom. I can keep myself." 

"I 'd keep you better 'n your pop keeps you, any- 
ways, Tillie. I 'd make you a good purvidcr." 

"I won't ever marry," Tillie repeated. 

"I did n't know you was so funny," Absalom sul- 
lenly answered. "You^ight be glad I want to be 
your reg'lar friend." 

"No," said Tillie, "I don't care about it." 

They walked on in silence for a few minutes. Tillie 
looked away into the starlit night and thought of 
Jliss Margavet and wished she were alone, that her 
thoughts might be uninterrupted. Absalom, at her 
side, kicked up the dust with his heavy shoes, as he 
sulkily hung his head. 

Presently he spoke again. 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

"Will you leave me come to see you Sundays, still, 
if I take my chaneet that I 'm wastin' my time?" 

"If you '11 leave it that way," Tillie acquiesced, 
"and not hold me to anything." 

"All right. Only you won't leave no one else set 
up with you, ain't not?" 

"There is n't any one else." 

"But some chance time another feller might turn 
up oncet that wants to keep eomp'ny with you too." 

"I won't promise anything, Absalom. If you want 
to come Sundays to see me and the folks, you can. 
That 's all I '11 say." 

' ' I never seen such a funny girl as what you are ! " 
growled Absalom. 

Tillie made no reply, and again they went on in 

"Say!" It was Absalom who finnlly spoke. 

Tillie 's absent, dreamy gaze came down from the 
stars and rested upon his heavy, dull face. 

"Ezra Ilerr he 's resigned William Penn. lie 's 
pettin' more pay at Abra'm Lincoln in oanewille. It 
comes unhandy, his leavin',,now the term 's just 
started and most all the applicants took a 'ready. Pop 
he got a letter from in there at Lancaster off of 
Superintendent Reingruber and he 's sendin' us a 
applicant out till next Saturday three weeks— fur the 
directors to see oncet if he '11 do." 

Absalom's father was secretary of the Board, and 
Mr. Getz was the trea.surer. 

"Pop he 's goin' over to see your pop about it 
till to-morrow oveniu ' a 'ready if he can make it suit. ' ' 


Absalom keeps company 

"When does Ezra go?" Tillie inquired. The New 
Mennonite rule which forbade the use of all titles 
had led to the eustom in this neighborhood, so popu- 
lated with llennonites, of calling each >ne by his 
Christian name. 

"Till next Friday three weeks," Absalom replied. 
"Pop says he don't know what to think about this 
here man Superintendent Keingruber 's sendin' out. 
He ain't no Jlillersville Xormal. The superintendent 
says he 's a 'Harvard grady,]to'— whatever that i.s, 
pop says! Pop he sayed it ain't (am..iar with him 
what that there is. And I guess the other directors 
don't know neither. Pop he sayed when we 're 
payin' as much as forty dollars a month we had 
ought, now, to have a Miller.sville Normal, and nothin' 
less. Who wants to pay forty dollars a month fur 
such a Harvard gradyate that we don't know right 
what it is." 

"What pay will Ezra get at Janeville?" Tillie 
asked. Her heart beat fast as she thought how she 
might, perhaps, in another year be the applicant for 
a vacancy at William Pcnn. 

"Around forty-five dollars," Absalom answered. 

"Oh!" Tillie said; "it seems so much, don't it?" 

"Fur settin' and doin' nothin' but hearin' off 
spellin' and readin' and whatever, it 's too much! 
Pop says he 's goin' to ast your pop and the rest 
of the Board if they had n't ought to ast this here 
Harvard gradyate to take a couple dollars less, seein' 
he ain't no Millersville Normal." 

They had by this time reached the fann, and Til- 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

lip, not very warmly, asked Absalom whether he 
would "come in and sit awhile." She almost sighed 
audibly as he eagerly consented. 

When he had left at twelve o'clock that night, she 
softly climbed the stairs to her room, careful not to 
disturb the sleeping household. Tillie wondered why 
it was that every girl of her acquaintance exulted in 
being asked to keep com; jy with a gentleman friend. 
She had found "sitting up" a more fatiguing task 
than even the dreaded Monday's washing which would 
confront her on the morrow. 

"Seein' it 's the first time me and you set up to- 
g ' ler, I mebb: better not stay just so late," Absa- 
'o had explained when, after three hours' courting, 
he had reluctantly risen to take his leave, under the 
firm conviction, as Tillie plainly saw, that she felt 
as sorry to have him go as evidently he was to part 
from her ! 

"IIow late," thought Tillie, "will he stay the sec- 
ond time he sits up with me? And what," she won- 
dered, "do other girls see in it?" 

The following Sunday night, Absalom came again, 
and this time he stayed until one o'clock, with the 
result that on the following Monday morning Tillie 
overslept herself and was one hour late in starting 
the washing. 

It was that evening, after supper, while Mrs. Getz 
was helping her husband make his toilet for a meeting 
of the School Board— at which the application of that 
suspicious character, the Harvard graduate, was to 
be considered— that the husband and wife discussed 


Absalom keeps company 

these significant Sunday night visits. Mrs. Getz opened 
up the subject while she performed the wifely office 
of washing her hus'jand's neck, his increasing bulk 
making that duty a rather difficult one for him. 
Standing over him as he sat in a chair in the kitchen, 
holding on his knees a tin basin full of soapy water, 
she scrubbed his fat, sunburned neck with all the 
vigor and enthusiasm that she would have applied to 
the cleaning of the kitchen porch or the scouring of 
an iTOn skillet. 

A custom prevailed in the county of leaving one's 
parlor plainly furnished, or entirely empty, until the 
eldest daughter should come of age ; it was then fitted 
up in style, as a place to which she and her "regular 
friend" could retire from the eyes of the girl's folks 
of a Sunday night to do their "setting up." The 
occasion of a girl's "furnishing" was a notable one, 
usually celebrated By a party; and it was this fact 
that led her stepmother to remark presently: 

"Say, pop, are you furnishin' fur Tillie, now 
she 's comin' eighteen years old!" 

"I ain't thought about it," Mr. Getz answered 
shortly. "That front room 's furnished good enough 
a 'ready. No— I ain't spendin' any!" 

"Seein' she 's a member andwears plain,itwouldn't 
cost wery expensive to furnish fur her, fur she hasn't 
the dare to have nothin' stylish like a organ or gilt- 
framed landscapes or sich stuffed furniture that 

' ' The room 's good enough the way it is, ' ' repeated 
Mr. Getz. "I don't see no use spendin' on it." 

I 1 

TilHe: A Mennonite Maid 

"It noods now paper and carpot. Pop, it 'II get 
put out if you don't furnish fur her. The neifjh- 
hors 'II talk how you 're so elose witli your own child 
after she worked fur you so pood still. I don't like 
it so well, pop, havin' the neijihluirs talk." 

"Leave 'em talk. Their talkin' don't eost mc no- 
thin'. I ain't furnishin'! " Ilis tone was obstinate 
and angry. 

His wife rubbed him down with a crash towel as 
vigorously as she had washed him, then fa.stened his 
.shirt, dipped the family comb in the soapy water and 
began with artistic care to part and comb his hair. 

"Absalom Puntz he 's a nice party, pop. lie '11 
be well-fixed till his pop 's passed away a 'ready." 

"You think! Well, now look here, mom!" llr. 
Getz spoke with stern decision. "Tillie ain't got 
the dare to keep coinp'ny Sundays! It made her a 
whole hour late with the washin' this mornin'. I 'm 
tellin' her she 's got to tell Absalom Puntz he can't 
eome no more." 

Mrs. Getz paused with comb poised in air, and her 
feeble jaw droppect in astonishment. 

"Why, pop!" she said. "Ain't you leavin' Tillie 
keep eomp'ny?" 

"No," affirmed Mr. Oetz. "I ain't. What does 
a body go to the bother of raisin' childern fur? Just 
to lose 'em as soon as they are growed enough to help 
earn a little? I ain't Icarin' Tillie get married! 
She 's stay in' at home to help her pop and mom— 
except in winter when they ain't so much work, and 
mebbe then I 'm hirin' her out to Aunty Em at the 


"yiir Ills I'ul. >uiiljunii>.l iktU." 






Absalom keeps company 

hotel where she can earn a little, too, to help along. 
She can easy earn cnouRh to buy the childern's winter 
clo'es and pums and school-books." 

"When she comes eijihteen, pop, she '11 have the 
right to get married whether or no you 'd conceited 
you would n't give her the dare." 

"If I say I ain't buy in' her her aus styer, Absalom 
Puntz nor no other feller would take her." 

An "aus styer" is the household outfit always 
given to a bride by her father. 

"Well, to be sure," granted Mrs. Oetz, "I 'd like 
keepin' Tillie home to help me out with the work still. 
I did n't see how I was ever goin' to get through with- 
out her. But I thought when Absalom Puntz begin 
to come Sundays, certainly you 'd be fur her havin' 
him. I was say in' to her only this mornin' that if 
she did n't want to dishearten Absalom from comin' 
to set up with her, she 'd have to take more notice 
to him and not act so dopplig with him-like as if 
she did n't care whether or no he made up to her. I 
tole her I 'd think, now, she 'd be wonderful pleased 
at his wantin' her, and him so well-fixed. Certainly 
I never conceited you 'd be ag'in' it. Tillie she did n't 
answer nothin'. Sometimes I do now think Tillie 's 
some different to what other girls is." 

"I 'd be glad," said Jacob Getz in a milder tone, 
"if she ain't set on havin' him. I was some oneasy 
she might take it a little hard when I tole her she dar- 
sent get married." , ,, ,r 

"Oeh Tillie she never takes nothin hard, Mrs. 
Getz answered easily. "She ain't never ast me was 


\i ! 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

you goin' to furnish fur Iior. She don't take no 
interest. She 's so funny thut way. I tliink to my- 
self, still, Tillie is, now, u little dumm!" 

It happened that while this dialogue was taking 
place, Tillie was in the room above the kitchen, put- 
ting the two most recently arrived (Jetz babies to bed; 
and as she sat near the open register with a baby on 
her lap, every word that passed between her father 
and stepmother was perfectly audible to her. 

With growing bitterness she listened to her father's 
frank avowal of his selfish designs. At the same time 
she felt a thrill of exultation, as she thought of the 
cherished secret locked in her breast— hidden the more 
securely from those with whom she seemed to live 
nearest. How amazed they would be, her stolid, un- 
suspicious parents, when they discovered that she had 
been secretly studying and, with Miss Margaret's help, 
preparing herself for the high calling of a teacher! 
One more year, now, and she would be ready, M ■. 
Margaret assured her, to take the county supe .- 
tendent's examination for a certificate to teach. ' uen 
good-by to household drudgery and the perpetual 
self-sacrifice that robbed her of all that was worth 
while in life. 

With a serene mind, Tillie rose, with the youngest 
baby in her arms, and tc iderly tucked it in its lit- 
tle bed. 




IT was a few days later, at the supper-table, that 
Tillie's father made an auuouncemeut for which 
she was not wholly unprepared. 

"I 'm hirin' you out this winter, Tillie, at the 
Aotel. Aunty Em says she 's leavin' both the (,'irls 
go to school again this winter and she '11 need hired 
help. She '11 pay me two dollars a week fur you. 
She '11 pay it to me and I '11 buy you what you need, 
still, out of it. You 're goin' till next Monday." 

Tillie's heart leaped high with pleasure at this news. 
She was fond of her Aunty Em; she knew that life 
at the country hotel would be varied and interesting 
in comparison with the dull, grubbing existence of 
her own home; she would have to work very hard, 
of course, but not so hard, so unceasingly, as under 
her father's eye; and she would have absolute free- 
dom to devote her spare time to her books. The 
thought of escaping from her father's watcli fulness, 
and the prospect of hours of safe and uninterrupted 
study, filled her with secret joy. 

"I tole Aunty Em she 's not to leave you waste 
no time readin'; when she don't need you, you 're 
to coint houiL and help mom still. Mom she says she 

Tillic: A Mennonite Maid 


can't cc't through Iho wintfr sfwin' wiflinnt you. 
Wi'll, Auiily Km she Nays you pim si'w I'Vciiiii's owr 
thrri' at the /loti'I, on the cliililiTiiN do Vs. Motii slif 
can easy net thniunh the other work without you, 
now Sallie 's i:inn' on thirteen. I'ill l)eceml)er 
a 'ready Sally '11 be thirteen. And the winter work 's 
easy to what the smnniet i.-,. In summer, to be sure, 
you 'II have to come Iioiie and help me and mom. 
Hut in winter I 'm hirin' you out." 

"But Sally ain't as handy as what Tillie i.s," said 
Mrs. Oetz, plaintively. "And I don't see how I 'ni 
(join' lo j;et through oncet without Tillie." 

"tjally 's got to Icitni to be handier, that 's all. 
.le 's j.'ot to get learnt like what I always learnt Til- 
■ ie fur you." 

Fire flashed in Tillie 's soft eyes— a momentary 
flame of shame and aversion; if her blinded father 
had seen and understood, he would have realized bow 
little, after all, he had ever succeeded in "learning" 
her the subservience he demanded of his children. 

As for the warning to her aunt, she knew that it 
would be ignored; that Aunty Em would never in- 
terfere with the use she made of the free time allowed 
her, no matter what her father's orders were to the 

"And you ain't to have Absalom Piintz comin' over 
there Sundays neither," her father added. "I tole 
Aunty Em like I tole you the other day, I ain't leavin' 
you keep comp'ny. I raised you, now you have the 
right to work and help along a little. It 's little 
enough a girl can earn anyways." 


Mzra Hcrr, Pedagogue 

Tillic Hindi' no (■(iimiii'iil. Ilir silini'c wii» nf pdursi' 
iitidirstiHiil l)_v her fatlii'f tii iiuiin siibiiiissioii ; wl' - 
lirr Htrpiiiiillicr fell in lirr heart a ccniti'inpt foi . 
iiiiM'kni'ss that wuiil.' I)i'ar, without a worcl of protest, 
tlie hiNs of a steady friend so weli-fixi'd and so alto- 
(jether (h'sirable as Ahsahmi I'nnI/. 

In Absahinrs two visits Tillie hiid l)een sutrielenlly 
impressed with llie steadliii'ss of purpose and obsti- 
nacy of the yoiwifi man's eharaetir to feel appalled 
at tlie fearful task of resistin;; his do>,'t.'ed delerminn- 
tion to marry lier. So pontident be evidently was of 
ultimately winninn her that at times Tillie found 
herself ipiite Rharinj; liis eonfidenee in the sueeess of 
his courting,', whieli lu r father "s interdiet she knew 
would not interfere with in the least. She alwa\s 
shuddered at the thought of beinj; Absalom's wife; 
and a feeling she could not always flin;; otl', as of some 
impendinsr doom, at times buried all the hijjh hopes 
which for the past seven years had been the very 
breath of her life. 

Tillie had one especially strong reason for rejoicing 
in the prospect of going to the village for the winter. 
The Harvard graduate, if elected, would no doubt 
board at the hotel, or necessarily near by, and slie 
could get him to lend her liooks and perliaps to give 
her some help with her studies. 

The village of Xew Canaan and all the township 
were curious to see this stranger. The school direc- 
tors had felt that they were conceding a good deal 
in consenting to consider the application of such an 
unknown quantity, when they could, at forty dollars 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

a month, easily secure the services of a Millersville 
Normal. But the stress that had been brought to 
bear upon them by the county superintendent, whose 
son had been a classmate of the candidate, had been 
rather too strong to be resisted ; and so the ' ' Harvard 
gradyate man" was coming. 

That afternoon Tillie had walked over in a pouring 
rain to William Penn to carry "gums" and umbrel- 
las to her four younger brothers and sisters, and she 
had realized, with deep exultation, while listening to 
Ezra Herr's teaching, that she was already far better 
equipped than was Ezra to do the work he was doing, 
—and he was a Millersville Normal ! 

It happened that Ezra was receiving a visit from a 
committee of Janeville school directors, and he had 
departed from his every-day mechanical style of 
teaching in favor of some fancy methods which he had 
imbibed at the Normal School during his attendance 
at the spring term, and which he reserved for use 
on occasions like the present. Tillie watched him 
with profound attention, but hardly with profound 

"Childern," Ezra said, with a look of deep thought, 
as he impressively paced up and down before the 
class of small boys and girls ranged on the plat- 
form, "now, childern, what 's this reading lesson 

" 'Bout a apple-tree!" answered several eager lit- 
tle voices. 

"Yes," said Ezra. "About an apple-tree. Correct. 
Now, childern— er— what grows on appK-trees, hehf " 


Ezra Herr, Pedagogue 

"Apples!" answered the intelligent class. 

"Correct. Apples. And— now- what was it that 
came to the apple-tree?" 

"A little bird." 

"Yes. A bird came to the apple-tree. Well— er," 
he floundered for a moment, then, by a sudden inspi- 
ration, "what can a bird do?" 

"Fly! and sing!" 

"A bird can Hy and sing," Ezra nodded. "Very 
good. Now, Sadie, you dare begin. I 'U leave each 
one read a werse. " 

The ne.\t recitation was a Fourth Reader lesson con- 
sisting or a speech of Daniel Webster's, the import 
of which not one of the children, if indeed the teacher 
himself, had the fai 'est suspicion. And so the class 
was permitted to proceed, without interruption, in ite 
labored conning of the massive elo(iuence of that great 
statesman; and the directors presently took their de- 
parture in the firm conviction that in Ezra Ilerr they 
had made a good investment of the forty-five dollars 
a month appropriated to their town out of the State 
treasury, and they agreed, on their way back to Jane- 
ville, that New Canaan was to be pitied for having 
to put up with anything so unheard-of as "a Harvard 
gradyate or whatever," after having had the advan- 
tages of an educator like Ezra Ilerr. 

And Tillie, as she walked home with her four 
brothers and sisters, hoped, for the sake of her own 
advancement, that a Harvard graduate was at least 
not less intelligent than a Millersville Normal. 




THAT a man holding a Harvard degree should 
consider so humble an educational post as that 
of New Canaan needs a word of explanation. 

Walter Fairchilds was the protege of his uncle, the 
High Church bishop of a New England State, who 
had practically, though not legally, adopted hiui, upon 
the death of his fath ■.•, when the boy was fourteen 
years old, his mother having died at his birth. 

It was tacitly understood by Walter that his uncle 
was educating him for the priesthood. His life, from 
the time the bishop took charge of him until he was 
ready for college, was spent in Church boarding- 

A spiritually minded, thoughtful boy, of an emo- 
tional temperament which responded to every appeal 
of beauty, whether of form, color, sound, or ethics, 
Walter easily fell in with his uncle's designs for him, 
and rivaled him in the fervor of his devotion to the 
esthetic ritual of his Church. 

His summer vacations were spent at Bar Harbor 
with the bishop's family, which consisted of his wife 
and two anemic daughters. They were people of lim- 
ited interests, who built up barriers about their lives 


The Harvard graduate 

on all sides; social liodfics which exeliulod all huinanity 
but a select and very dull, uniiitcrestinj; circle: in- 
tellectual walls whieli never admitted a stray uncon- 
ventional idea; iiKiral deniareati,ins which nourished 
within them the Mamiium of self-rii.'hteciusness, and 
IheoloKical barriers which shut out the sunli^'ht' of a 
lir'oad charity. 

Therefore, when in the course of his career at Har- 
vard, Walter Fairehilds discovered that intellectually 
he had outt;rown n(jt only the social creed of the divine 
riftht of the well-born, in which these people had edu- 
cated him, but their theological creed as well, the ne- 
cessity of breaking? the fact to them, of wounding 
their affection for him, of disappointing the fond 
and cherished hope with which for years his uncle 
had spent money upon his education— the ordeal which 
he had to face was a fiery one. 

When, in deepest sorrow, and with all the delicacy 
of his sensitive nature, he told the bishop of his 
(thanged mental attitude toward the problem of re- 
ligion, it .seemed to him that in his uncle's reception 
of it the spirit of the Spanish Inquisitors was revived, 
so mad appeared to him his horror of this heresy 
and his convicticm that he, Walter, was a poison in 
the moral atmosphere, which must be exterminated 
at any cost. 

In this interview between them, the bishop stood 
revealed to him in a new character, and yet Walter 
seemed to realize that in his deeper consciousness he 
had always known him for what he really was. though 
all the circumstances of his conventional life had con- 

I'illie: A Mennonite Maid 

duced to hide his real self. lie saw, now, how the sub- 
missivcness of his own dreamy b lyhood had never 
called into active force his guardian's native love of 
domineering; his intolerance of opposition; the pride 
of his exacting will. But on the tirst provocation of 
circumstances, these traits stood boldly forth. 

"Is it for this that I have spent my time and 
money upon you— to bring up an infiddf" Bishop 
Fairehilds demanded, when he had in part recovered 
from the first shock o.' amazement the news had given 

"I am not an infidel even if I have outgrown High 
Church dogmas. I have a Faith — I have a Religion; 
and I assure you that I never so fully realized the 
vital truth of my religion as I do now— now that I 
see things, not in the dim cathedral light, but out 
under the broad heavens!" 

"How can you dare to question the authority of 
our Holy Mother, the Church, whose teachings have 
come down to us through all these centuries, bearing 
the sacred sanction of the most ancient authority?" 

"Old things can rot!" Walter answered. 

"And you fancy," the bishop indignantly de- 
manded, "that I will give one dollar for your support 
while you are adhering to this blasphemy? That I 
will ever again even so much as break bread with you, 
until, in humble contrition, you return to your alle- 
giance to the Church?" 

Walter lifted his earnest eyes and met squarely his 
uncle's frowning stare. Then the boy rose. 

"Nothing, then, is left for me," he said steadily, 

The Harvard graduate 

"but to leave your home, give up the course of study 
I had hoped to continue at Harvard, and wt to 

"You fully realize all that this step must mean?" 
his uncle coldly asked him. "You are absolutely pen- 

" In a matter of this kind, uncle, you must re- 
alize that such a consideration could not possibly 
enter in." 

"You have not a penny of your own. The few thou- 
sands that your father left were long ago used up in 
your sehool-bills. " 

"And I am much in your debt ; I know it all." 

"So you choose poverty and hardship for the sake 
of this perversity?" 

"Others have suffered harder things for principle." 

Thus they parted. 

And thus it was, through the suddenness and une.x- 
pectedness of the loss of his home and livelihood, 
that Walter Fairchilds came to apply for the position 
at William Penn. 

"Here, Tillie, you take and go up to Sister Jennie 
Hershey's and get some mush. I 'm makin' fried 
iiiHsh fur supper," said Aunty Em, bustling into the 
hotel kitchen where her niece was paring potatoes, 
one Saturday afternoon. "Here 's a quarter. Get 
two pound." 

"Oh, Tillie," called her cousin Rebecca from the 
nd.joining dining-room, which .served also as the fam- 
ily sitting-room, "hurry ( m and you '11 mebbe be in 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

time to see the stnge come in with the new teacher in. 
Mebbe you '11 see him to speak to yet up at Iler- 
shey 's. ' ' 

"Lizzie Hershey 's that wonderful tickled that the 
teacher 's going to board at their place!" said 
Amanda, the second daughter, a girl of Tillie's age, 
as she stood in the kitelien doorway and watched Til- 
lie put on her black hood over the white Mennonite 
cap. Stout Aunty Em also wore the llennonite dress, 
which lent a certain dignity to her round face with its 
alert but kindly eyes; but her two daughters were 
still "of the world's people." 

"When Lizzie she tole me about it, coniin' out from 
Lancaster after market this morning," continued 
Amanda, ".she was now that tickled ! She sayed lie 's 
such a good-looker! Oeh, I wi.sht he was stoppin' 
here; ain't, Tillie? Lizzie 'II think herself much, 
havin' a town fellah stoppin' at their place." 

"If he 's stoppin' at Hershey 's," said Rebecca, ap- 
pearing suddenly, "that ain't sayin' he has to get in 
with Lizzie so wonderful thick! I hope he 's a jolly 

Amanda and Rebecca were now girls of seventeen 
and eighteen years— buxom, rosy, absolutely unideal 
country Beside them, frail little Tillie seemed 
a creature of another clay. 

"Lizzie tole me: she sayed how he come up to their 
market-stall in there at Lancaster this morning," 
Amanda related, "and tole her he 'd heard Jonas Her- 
shey 's pork-stall at market was where he could mebbe 
find out a place he could board at in New Canaan 


The Harvard graduate 

with a private family— lie \\ sooner live with a pri- 
vate family that way than at the /lotel. Well, Lizzie 
she coaxed her pop rijrht there in front of the teacher 
to say thrii W take him, anil Jonas Ilershey he sayed 
he did n't care any. So Lizzie she tole him then lie 
could come to their place, and he sayed he 'd be out 
this after in the four-o'clock stage." 

"Weil, and I wonder what her mother has to say to 
her and Jonas fixin' it up between 'em to take a 
l)oarder and not waitin' to ast her!" Aunty Em said. 
"I Ruess niebbe Sister Jennie 's spited I" 

The appellati(m of "sister" indicated no other rela- 
tion than that of the Mennonite church membership, 
Mrs. Jonas Ilershey bein>; also a New Mennonite. 

"Now don't think you have to run all the way there 
and back, Tillie, " was her aunt's partini; injunction. 
"/ don't time you like what your pop doesi Well, 
I guess not ! I take notice you 're always out of 
breath when you come back from an urrand. It 's 
early yet— you dare stop awhile and talk to Lizzie." 

Tillie gave her aunt a look of grateful affection as 
she left the house. Often when .she longed to thank 
her for her many little acts of kinilness. thi' words 
would not come. It was the habit of her life to repress 
every emotion of her mind, whetlier of bitterness or 
pb.isure, and an uncon(|uerahle shyness seized upon 
her in any least attempt to reveal herself to who 
were good to her. 

It was four o'clock on a beautiful October afternoon 
as she walked up the village street, and while she en- 
joyed, through all her sensitive maiden soul, the sweet 


TilHe: A Mennonite Maid 

sunshine and soft, autumn coloring, her thought dwelt 
with a pleasant expectancy on her almost inevitable 
meeting with "the Teacher," if he did indeed arrive 
in the stajje now due at New Canaan. 

Unlike her cousins Ainandii and Rebecca, and their 
neighbor Lizzie Ilershey, Tillie's eagerness to meet 
the young man was not born of a feminine hunger 
for romance. Life as yet had not revealed those emo- 
tions to her except as she had known them in her 
love for Miss Margaret— which love was indeed full 
of a sacred sentiment. It was only because the teacher 
meant an aid to the realization of her ambition to 
become "educated" that she was interested in his 

It was but a few minutes' walk to the home of 
Jonas Ilershey, the country pork butcher. As Tillie 
turned in at the gate, she heard, with a leap of her 
heart, the distant rumble of the approaching stage- 

Jonas Hershey's home was probably the cleanest, 
neatest-looking red brick house in all the county. The 
board-walk from the gate to the door fairly glistened 
from the effects of soap and water. The flower-beds, 
almost painfully neat and free from weeds, were laid 
out on a strictly mathematical plan. A border of 
whitewashed clam-shells, laid side by side with mili- 
tary precision, set off the brilliant reds and yellows 
of the flowers, a.d a glance at them was like gazing 
into the face of the midday sun. Tillie shaded her 
dazzled eyes as she walked across the garden to the 
side door which opened into the kitchen. It stood 

The Harvard graduate 

open and she stepped in without ceremony. For a 
moment she could sec nothin); but red nnd yellow 
flowers and whitewashed elam-sliells. But as her 
vision cleared, she perceived her neisihbor, Lizzie 
llershey, a well-built, healthy-lookins country lass of 
eighteen years, euttinii bread at a table, and her 
mother, a larfre fat wunuin wearinj; the Menuonitc 
dress, standing before a huge kitchen range, stirring 
"ponhaus" in a caldron. 

The inunaculate neatness of the large kitchen gave 
evidence, as did garden, board-walk, and front porch, 
of that morbid passion for "cleaning up" character- 
istic of the Dutch housewife. 

Jonas Ilcrshey did a very large and lucrative busi- 
ness, and the work of his establishment was heavy. 
But he hired no "help" and his wife and daughter 
worked early and late to aid him in earning the dol- 
lars which he hoarded. 

"Sister Jennie!" Tillie accosted Mrs. Hcrshey with 
the New Mcnnonite formal greeting, "I wish you the 
grace and peace of the Lord." 

"The same to you, sister," Mrs. Hershey replied, 
bending to receive Tillie's kiss as the girl came up to 
her at the stove— the Mennonite interpretation of the 
command, "Salute the brethren with a holy kiss." 

"Well, Lizzie," was Tillie's only greeting to the 
girl at the table. Lizzie was not a member of meeting 
and the rules forbade the members to kiss those who 
were still in the world. 

"Well, Tillie," answered Lizzie, not looking up 
from the bread she was cutting. 


Tillie: A Mennonitc Maid 

ll»' ' 

Tillir' instiintly pi'roi'ivi'd a lack of ('(irdiiility. Somo- 
tliiriK was wrong. Lizzie's face was sullen and lii-r 
nidthi'r's countonnncc lixiked ijriiii and dotcrniint'd. 
Tillie wondered whether their evident ill-hiini(ir were 
in any way eonnected with herself, or whether her 
Aunty Kin's surmise were correct, and Sister Jennie 
was really "spited." 

"I 've eiinie to pet two pound of mush," she said, 
reniemhcrinK her errand. 

"It 's all," Mrs. Ilershey returned. "We solt every 
cake at market, and no more 's made yet. It was all 
a'ready till market was only half over." 

"Aunty Em '11 be disappointed. She thought she 'd 
make fried mush for supper," said Tillie. 

"Have you strantiers?" inquired Mrs. Ilershey. 

"No, we have n't anybody for supper, unless some 
come on the stage this after. We had four for din- 

"Were they such agents, or what?" asked Lizzie. 

Tillie turned to her. "Whether they were agents? 
No, they were just pleasnre-seekers. They were out 
for a drive and stopped off to eat." 

At this instant the rattling old stagc-coaeh drew up 
at the gate. 

The mother and daughter, paying no heed whatever 
to the sound, went on with their work, Mrs. Ilershey 
looking a shade more grimly determined as she stirred 
her ponhaus and Lizzie more sulky. 

Tillie had just time to wonder whether she had 
better slip out before the stranger came in, when a 
knock on the open kitchen door cheeked her. 


The Harvard graduate 

Noitlior mother nor dniidhtcr ulmicfd up in answer 
to till' knock. Mrs. Herslicy rcsoluti-ly kept lier eyes 
on her caldron ii- she turned her hi^' spiHin iilmiit 
in it, and Fiizzie, with sullen, averted face, industri- 
ously cut her loaf. 

A second knock, followed hy the appearance of a 
(.'ood-lookiud, well-(lri'8se<l youiiK iiiini on the Ihresli- 
old, met with the same reception. Tillie, in the haek- 
^'round, and hidden hy the stove, looked on wond r- 

The younR man Rlanced, in cvi<lent mystifieatinn, 
at the wonuin hy the stov.> ami at the fjirl at the labh-, 
and a third time rapped loudly. 

"Cinod afternoon I" he said pleasantly, an imiuirins,' 
not(> in his voice. 

Mrs. Ilershey and Lizzie went on with their work as 
though they had not heard him. 

He took a step into the room, rcmovinfr his hat. 
"You were expecting me 'his afternoon, were n't 
you?" he asked. 

"This is the place," Lizzie remarked at last. 
"You were looking for me?" he repeated. 
Mrs. Ilershey suddenly turned upon Lizzie. "Why 
don't yon speak?" .she inquired half-tauntinjily. 
" Vou spoke hcfiirc." 

Tillie realized that Sister Jennie must be refei le.' 
to Ijizzie's readiness at market that mornin;.' to 
"speak," in making her agreement with the youuu' 
man for hoard. 

"Yon spoke this morninj;," the mother repeated. 
"Why can't you speak now?" 


Tillie: A Mcnnonite Maid 

M 11 

"Och, why (Idii't yiiii Hpi'iik yoursi'lf f" retorted 
Lizzie. "It iiin't fur m< to KpeakI" 

The strunKer nppeiired to reeounize that he was the 
subjeet of u doiiiestie iliipleusnnttiess. 

"You find it ineonvenient to take me to board?" he 
hesitiitliinly incpiired of Mrs. Ilershey. "I should n't 
think of wishing to intrude. There is a hotel in the 
plaee, I suppose?" 

"Yes. There is a /lotel in New Canaan." 

"I enn get board there, no doubt?" 

"Well," Mrs. Ilershey replied arRumentatively, 
"that 's a public house and this ain't. We never made 
no practice of takin' boarders. To be sure, Jonas he 
always was fur boarders. But I ain't furl" 

"Oh, yes," gravely nodded the young man. "Yes. 
I see." 

He picked up the dress-suit case which he had set 
on the sill. "Where is the hotel, may I ask?" 

"Just up the road a piece. Y'ou can see the sign 
out," said Mrs. Ilershey, while Lizzie banged the 
bread-box shut with an energy forcibly expressive of 
her feelings. 

"Thank you," responded the gentleman, a pair of 
keen, bright eyes sweeping Lizzie's gloomy face. 

He bowed, put his hat on his head and stepped out 
of the house. 

There was a back door at the other side of the 
kitchen. Not stopping for the ceremony of leave-tak- 
ing, Tillie slipped out of it to hurry home before the 
stranger should reach the hotel. 

Her heart beat fast as she hurried across fields by 


The Harvard graduate 

a short-cut, uiid tlicTo was a sparkle of ix. ■|cmeiit in 
her i-yi'S. Her cars wcri' tingling with houiuIn to wliirh 
they were iinaeciiBtoiued, and which thrilled them ox- 
(lllisitely— the speech, accent. :mil tones of one wlio 
belonced to that world miknoHi iu her excej)! through 
books-out of which Miss »\Iai LMret had lonie and to 
which this new teacher, she ul once reeonnized, be- 
longed. Undoubtedly li ■ niis what was called, by 
maKazine- and novel-wriicis, ,, • ;;( ntI'Mian " And 
it was suddenly reveal, d In Tilji.. 'tu' ,,, i'i,i life the 
phcnoMienon thus nanieii iiiis i.v, n iiiieii'stiii); 
than in literature. The ein ,r n,,. v. imp loan's 
thin face, his pale forehead. tlii. ( ol the white 
hand he had lifted to his hat. his modulated voice and 
speech, all these things had, in her f i w niiiuitcs' ubser- 
vation of him, impres.sed themselv's instantly and 
deeply upon the tfirl's fresh imaKinatioa. 

Out of breath from her hurried walk, she reaL'hed 
the back door of the hotel several minutes before the 
teacher's arrival. She had just time to report to her 
aunt that Sister Jennie's niusli was "all," and to re- 
ply in the affirmative to the cajier riuestions of 
Amanda and Rebecca as to whether she had seen the 
teacher, when the sound of the knocker on the front 
door arrested their further eateoliism. 

"The stage did n't leave out whoever it is— it drove 
right," said Aunty Em. "You go, Tillie, and 
see oncet who is it." 

Tillie was sure that she had not been seen by the 
evicted applicant for board, as she had been hidden 
behind the stove. This impression was confirmed when 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

. 'I 

ii 'I 

she now opened the door to him, for there was no 
reeoffnition in his eyes as he lifted his hat. It was 
the first time in Tillie 's life that a man had taken off 
his hat to lier, and it almost palsied her ton^ne as she 
ti'ied to ask him to eoiiie in. 

In reply to his inipiiry as to whether he eimld -ret 
board here, she led him into the darkened parlor at 
the rifrht of a lonf; hall. (Jroijinj; her way aeross the 
floor to the window she drew up the blind. 

"Just sit down," she said timidly. "I '11 call 
Aunty Em." 

"Thank you," he bowed with a little air of cere- 
ni<iny that for an instant lield her spellbound. She 
stood starinfr at him— only recalled to herself and to 
a sense of shame for her rudeness by the su(iden en- 
trance of her aunt. 

"How d' do?" said Mrs. Waekern,.^';! in her brisk, 
businesslike tone. "!)' you want supper?" 

"I am the applicant for the New Canaan school. I 
want to >ret board for the winter lien", if I can— and 
in ease I 'ni elected." 

" Well, I say ! Tillie ! I)' you hear tliat ? Why us 
we all heard .von was fioin" to Jona^ Ilershey's." 

"They decided it was n't c(mvenient to take me and 
sent me liere." 

"Now thiidv! If tliat was n't like Sisli'r Jennie yet ! 
All rifihtl"' she announced coiK'hisivi'ly. "We can 
aeconnnodate you to satisfaction, I jruesc. " 

"Have you ary other boarders?" the youn;; man in- 

"No rcg'lar boarders — except, to be sure, the Doc; 


The Harvard graduate 

and he 's lived with us it 's puiiiin' fifteen years, I 
think, or how Inns;, till November a 'ready. It 's just 
our own fani'ly here and my nieee wliere helps wilh 
the work, and llie Doe. We have a many to meals 
thousrh, .just passiuf; throu<;h that way, you know. We 
don't often have more 'n one re^''lar hoarder at (meet, 
so we just make 'em at home still, like as if they was 
one of us. Now ynii," she hospitably eoneluded, 
"we '11 lay in our best bed. We don't lay 'em in the 
best bed unless they 're some clean-lookin'." 

Tillie notieed as her aunt talked that while the 
youns man listened with evident interest, his eyes 
moved about the room, takirii; in every detail of it. 
To Tillie 's mind, this hotel parlor was so "pleasintr 
to the eye" as to constitute one (.f Ihose Temptations 
ot the Enemy asiaiust wliii'li her New Menncjiiite faith 
prescribed most ri'^id diseipline. She wondered whe- 
ther the strani.'er did not think it very handsome. 

The arran^'ement of the room was evidently, like 
Jonas Ilershey's tlowerlncls, the work of a mathe- 
matical jrenius. The chairs all stood with their slitT 
baeks s(|uarely auainst the wall, the same number fac- 
iiij; each other from the four sides of the apartment. 
I'hoto^rapbs in narrow oval frames, six or eifrht, 
formed anolhiT oval, all ecpiidistant from the lariresf, 
which occupied the dead center, not only of this irroup, 
but of the wall from whicli it depended. The books 
on the S(|uare oak table, which stood iu the exact mid- 
dle of the floor, were arranu'ed in cubical piles in the 
same rifiid order. Tillie saw the new t<'aelier's ^'lance 
sweei) their titles: "Touchiuf; Incidents, and Uemark- 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

able Answers to Prayer"; "From Tannery to White 
House"; "Gems of Religious Thought," by Talmage; 
"History of the Galveston Horror; Illustrated ; 
"Platform Echoes, or Living Truths tor Heart and 
Head," by John B.Gough. • u,.' tl,,. 

"Lemme see-your name 's Fairch:lds, am t! tht 
landlady abruptly asked. 

"Yes," bowed the youn^' man. 
"Will you, now, take it all right if I call you by 
your Christian name? Us Menuonites daresent call 
folks Mr. and Mrs. because us we dont favor titles. 
What 's your first nnnie now?" 

Mr Fairchilds considered the question with the ap- 
....aianee of trying to remember. "You 'd better call 
me Pestalozzi," he answered, with a look and tone of 

solemnity. , • i 

"Pesky Louzv!" Mrs. Wackcrnagel exclaimed. 
"Well now think! That "s a name where ain't famil- 
iar 'round here. Is it after some of your folks?' 

"It was a name I think I bore in a previous incar- 
nation as a teacher of youth," Fairehilds gravely 

" Mrs.'wackornagel looked blank. "Tilli.'!" she ap- 
pealed to her nieee, who bad sbyly stepped halt behind 
her, "do you know right what he means?" 
Tillie dumbly shook liev head. 
"Pesky Loiizy!" Mrs. Waekernagel e.spenraented 
with the unfaipiliar name. "Don't it, now. beat all! 
It '11 take me awhile till I m used to tliat a ready. 
Mebbe I '11 just call you Teacher; ain't?" 

She looked at him imiuirinijly, expeetmg an answer. 


IK- iuttTponcti un.i 'n.>i^ )t hull. iltT." 


The Harvard graduate 

"Ain't?'" she repeated in her vigorous, whole-souled 

"Eh— ain 't tvlial? " Pairehilds asked, puzzled. 

"Och, I just nieiin, sua not.' Can't you niehbe talk 
Knglish wery good? \Vi' had such a foreigners at 
this Ji<)U'\ a'n'a<ly. We hati oneet one, he was from 
I'hil'delpliy and hi' did n't know what we meant right 
whin we sayed, 'The butter 's all any more.' lie 'd 
ast like you, 'AH what?' Yes, he was that tUnnm! 
Oeh, well," she added consolingly, "people can't help 
fur theii dispositions, that way!" 

"And what must I call you? " the young man in- 

".My name 's Wackernagel." 
'Miss or Mrs.?" 

"Well, I guess not Miss anyhow! I 'm the mother 
of four!" 

"Oh, excuse me! 

"Oh, that 's all right!" responded Mrs. Wacker- 
nagel, amiably. "Well, I must go make supper now. 
You just make yourself at home that way." 

"May I go to my riHim?" 

"Now?" asked Mrs. Wackernagel, inendulously. 
"Before night ?" 

"To iiupaek my dress-suit case," the ynung man 
explained. "My trunk will be brought out to-morrow 
on the stage." 

".All riuht. If you want. But we aui't used to' up-stairs in the day'niie, Tillie. you take bis 
satchel and show him up. This is my niece, Tillie 
Getz. ' ' 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

Again Mr. Fairehilds bowed to t)ie pirl as his eyes 
rested on the fair face looking out from her white 
cap. Tillie bent her head in response, then stoop<.d 
to pick up the suit ease. But he interposed and 
took it from her hands- and the touch of chivalry in 
the act went to hr head like wine. 

She led the way up-stairs to the close, musty, best 
spare bedroom. 





AT the supper-table, the apparently inexhaustible 
J\ topic of talk was the refiisul i)f the llerslieys to 
reeerve the new teacher into the hosoni of their family. 
A return to this theme again and again, on the part 
of the va-iou* uuembers of the Waekernagel household, 
dill Qot seem ti^ lessen its interest for them, though 
the Teacher himself did not take a very animated part 
in its discussion. Tillie realize<l, as with an absorbiiis: 
interest she watched his fine face, that all he saw and 
heard bere was a.s novel to him as the world whence 
he liad eonie would be to her and her kindretl and 
neighbiTS, could they be suddenly transplanted into 
i" Tillie had never looked upon any human coun- 
t,enaiM-e which seemed to express so much of that ideal 
world IE whtf* she lived her real life. 

"To turn him off after he got there!" Afrs. Wacker- 
n»Rel exclaimed, reverting for the third time to the 
episode which had so I'.xeited the family. "And after 
Lizzie and Jonas they 'd sayed he coulil come y.-t!" 

"Well, I say!" Mr. VVackeniiigel shook his head, as 
though the story, even at its third recital, were full 
of surprises. 

Mr. Wackemaiiel was a tall, raw-boned man with 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

cmspicuously Inrgc feet and hands. lip wore his hair 
pliistcred back from his face in a uni(|up, not to say 
distinRiiishod style, which he privately considered 
hinhly becomint; his position as the proprietor of the 
New Canaan Hotel. Mr. Wackemapel 's sel f -sat isf ac- 
tion did indeed cover every detail of his life— from the 
elegant fashic ;. v,f his hair to the <|uality of the whisky 
which he sol i ver the bar, and of whieii he never tin'd 
of boasting Not only was he entirely pleased with 
himself, but his pood-natured satisfaction included all 
his possessions— his horse first, then his wife, his two 
daughters, his permanent boarder, "the Doc," and 
his wife's niece Tillie. For people outside his own 
horizon, he had a tolerant but contemptuous pity. 

Mr. Wackernagel and the doctor both sat at table in 
their shirt-sleeves, the proprietor wearing a clean white 
shirt (his extravagance and vanity in using two white 
shirts a week being one of the chief historical facts 
of the village), while the doctor was wont to appear 
in a brown cotton shirt, the appearance of which sug- 
gested the hostler rather than the physieian. 

That Fairchilds should "eat in his coat" placed 
him, in the eyes of the Waekernagels, on the hij.h 
social plane of the drummers from the city, many of 
whom yearly visited the town with their wares. 

"And Teacher he did n't press 'em none, up at 
Jonas Ilershey's, to take him in, neither, he says," 
Mrs. Wackernagel pursued. 

"He says?" repeated Mr. Wackernagel. irKjuir- 
ingly. "Well, that *s like what I was, too, when I 
was a young man," he boasted. "If I thought I ain't 



The Wackernagcis at home 

wanted wlicn I wont to see n yoiinc Inily— if she 
piisscd nny insinyiitioiis— she never was n't wun-ied 
with m<' ntf'in !" 

"I Kness Lizzie 's S|)it<'(l thiit Teiieher 's stiippin' 
at our plaee, " uitrsiled Rehecea, her pretty faee riisy 
with pleasiiralile exeitemeiit in tlie tiirii iilVairs had 
taiien. She sat difvelly npposite Mr. Fairehilds, wliile 
Amanda had Ihi' I'hair at his side. 

Tillie ei)ul(l See that tile younn man's eyes rested 
iieea.^i.mally upi^n the liandscmie, Wdmaidy f(.rm nt' 
her very j.'0(id-l(iiil<inK eousin Aman(hi. Men always 
hulked at Amanda a areat deal. Tillie had ofleii (,"l,- 
served. The fact had never before had any siieeial 
sitinifieanee for her. 

"Are you from Laneaster. or wherever?" the doe- 
tor imniired of Mr. Fairehilds. 

"From Conneetieiit." he replied in a tone that inde- 

finahly. hut unmistakably eheeked further i|Uestioninsr. 

"Now think! So fur off' as that!" 

"Yes, ain't I'^e-xelaimed .Mrs. Waekernasel. "It 's 

a wonder a body 'd ever be enntented to live tl„;t f,,,. 


"We 'ri' had strani;ers here in this /lotel." .Mr. 
\VaeUerna>;el began In brau'. while he imluslriously ate 
of his fried sausage aim fried potatoes, ■'from as fur 
away as Illinois yet ! And from as fur south as down 
ill Maine! Yes, indeed! Ain't, mom?" he deiiiamleil 
of bis wife. 

"Oeh. yes, many 's the strange meals I cooked 
a 'ready in this house. One week I eooked forty 
strange meals : say not, Abe?" she returned. 

■ 65 


TilHe: A Mennonite Maid 

"Yes, I mind of that week. It wbs Mrs. Johnson 
and her dnuKhter we had from Illinois and Mrs. Sny- 
der from Maine," Abe e.xplained to Mr. Fairchilds. 
"And them Johnsons stayed the whole week." 

"They stopped here while Mr. Johnson went over 
the eounty .sellin' milk-separators," added Mrs. Waek- 
ernatrel. "And Abe he was in Lnneaster that week, 
and the Doc he was over to East OoneRal, and there 
was no man here except only us ladies ! Do you mind, 
Rebecea ? ' ' 

Rebeeea nodded, her mouth too full for utterance. 

"Mrs. Johnson she looked younjrer than her own 
daiidhter yet," Mrs. Wackernagel related, with anima- 
tion, innocent of any suspicion that the teacher mifiht 
not find the subject of Mrs. Johnson as absorbing as 
she found it. 

"There is nothing like srood health as a preserver of 
youth," responded Fairchilds. 

"//otel-keepin' did n't pay till we pot the license," 
Mr. WackernaKcl chatted confidentially to the 
stranger. "Mom, to be sure, she did n't favor my 
havin' a bar, because she belonued to meetin'. But I 
seen I could n't make nofhin' if I did n't. It was 
never no temptation to me— I was alwiiys amonf! 
the whisky and I never got tight oneet. And it ain't 
the hard work farmin' was. I had to give up fol- 
lowin' farmin'. I got it so in my leg. Why, some- 
times I can't hardly walk no more." 

"And can't your doctor cure you?" Fairchilds 
asked, with a curious glance at the unkempt little man 
across the table. 

1 66 

The Wackernagcls at home 

"Och, yos hi- 's lu-lpi'd mv a heap n'ri'ady. ITim 
he '» as good a diu'lor as any thi-y 're yot in Lancaster 
cvon!" was the loyal ri'sponsc. "Here a couple 
months back, a lady ov.t in East Donegal Township 
Nhe had wrote him a letter over here, how the five dif- 
ferent kinds of dosi-s where he give her dniKihter done 
her so miieh nood, and she was that (rrafeful. she sayed 
she jvist felt indebted fur a letter to him ! Ain't, Doc? 
She sayed now her d.iUKhter 's enKaged to be married 
and her mind 's more settled— and to be sure, that 
made somepin too. Yes, she sayed her Kellin' en- 
paKed done her near as irmeh tiDin] as the five differ- 
ent kind of doses d me her." 

"Are you an Allopath?" Fairchilds asked the doe- 

"I 'm a Eclectic," he responded glibly. "And do 
you know. Teacher, I 'd been practisin' that there style 
of medicine fur near t«,>lve years before I kuowed 
it was just to say the Eclectic School, you under- 

"Like Molieri''s prose-writer!" remarked the 
teacher, then smiled at himself for making such an 
allusion in such a place. 

"Won't you have some more sliced radishes. 
Teacher?" urged the hostes.s. "I niadi' a-plenty." 

"No, I thank you," Fairchilds replied, with his 
little air of courtesy that so impressed the whole 
family. "I can't eat radishes in the evening with 

"But these is with winrgar," Mrs. Wackemagel 
corrected him. 





^^ 1653 East Mom Str-cl 

r.S Rochester. Ne* York 146Q9 USA 

'-= (716) *ez - 0300 - Phone 

g^ (716) 2B8- 5989 ■ Fa« 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

Before Mr. Fairehilds eould explain, Mr. Wack- 
ernagel broke in, confirming the doctor's proud 

"Yes, Doc he 's a Eclectic," he repeated, evidently 
feeling that the fact retiected credit on the hotel. 
"You can see his sign on the side door." 

"I was always interested in science," explained the 
doctor, under the manifest impression that he was con- 
tinuing the subject. "Phe-non-e-ma. That 's what 
I like. Odd things. I 'm stuck on 'em! Now this 
here wireless telegraphy. I 'm stuck on that, you 
bet ! To me that there 's a phe-non-e-ma. ' ' 

"Teacher," interrupted Mrs. Waekernagel, "yon 
ain't eatin' hearty. Leave me give you some more 

"If you please," Mr. Fairehilds bowed as he handed 
his plate to her. 

"Why don't you leave him help hisself," protested 
Mr. Waekernagel. "He won't feel to make hisself 
at home if he can't help hisself like as if he was one 
of us that way." 

"Och, well," confessed Mrs. Waekernagel, "I just 
keep astin' him will he have more, so I can hear him 
speak his manners so nice. ' ' She laughed aloud at her 
own vanity, "'iou took notice of it too, Tillie, ain't? 
You can't eat fur lookin' at him!" 

A tide of color swept Tillie 's face as the teacher, 
with a look of amusement, turned his eyes toward her 
end cf the table. Her glance fell upon her plate, 
and she applied herself to cutting up her untouched 


The Wackernagels at home 

"Now, there 's Doe," reiiiarked Amanila, critically, 
"he 's got good manners, but he don't use 'em." 

"Och," said the doctor, "it ain't worth while to 

"I think it would be wonderful nice. Teacher," said 
Mrs. Waekernafrel, "if you learnt them manners you 
got to your scholars this winter. I wisht 'Jlanda 
and Rebecca knowed such manners. Tiny 're to be 
your scholars this winter." 

"Indeed?" said Fairchilds; "are they?" 

"'Manda there," said her father, ".she 's so much 
fur actin' up you 'II have to keep her right by you 
to keep her straight, .still." 

"That 's where I shall be delighted to keep 
her," returned Fairchilds, gallantly, and Amanda 
laughed boisterously and grew several shades 
rosier as she looked boldly up into the young man's 

"Ain't you fresh though!" she exclaimed coquet- 

How dared they all make so free with this wonder- 
ful young man, marveled Tillie. Why did n't they 
realize, as she did, how far above them he was? She 
felt almost glad that in his little attentions to Amanda 
and Rebecca he had scarcely noticed her at all : for the 
bare thought of talking to him overwhelmed her with 

"Mind Tillie!" laughed Mr. Wackernagel, sud- 
denly, "lookin' scared at the way yous are all talkin' 
up to Teacher! Tillie .she 's afraid of you," he 
explained to Mr. Fairchilds. "She ain't never got 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

her tongue with her when there 's strangers. Ain't, 

Tillie 's binning face was bent over her plate, and 
she did not attempt to answer. Mr. Fairchilds' eyes 
rested for an instant on the delicate, sensitive counte- 
nance of the girl. But his attention was diverted by 
an abrupt exclamation from Mrs. Wackernagel. 

"Oh, Abe!" she suddenly cried, "you ain't tole 
Teacher yet about the Albright sisters astin' you, on 
market, what might your name be !" 

The tone in which this serious omission was men- 
tioned indicated that it was an anecdote treasured 
among the family archives. 

"Now, I would mebbe of forgot that!" almost in 
consternation said Mr. Wackernagel. "Well," he be- 
gan, concentrating his attention upon the teacher, "it 
was this here way. The two Miss Albrights they had 
bought butter off of us, on market, for twenty years 
back a 'ready, and all that time we did n't know what 
was their name, and they did n't know ourn; fur all, 
I often sajs to mom, 'Now I wonder what 's the name 
of them two thin little women.' Well, you see, I was 
always a wonderful man fur my jokes. Yes, I was 
wery fond of makin' a joke, still. So here one day 
the two sisters come along and bought their butter, 
and then one of 'em she says, 'Excuse me, but here 
I 've been buyin' butter off of yous fur this twenty 
years back a 'ready and I ain't never heard your 
name. What might your name 6c?' Now I was such 
a man fur my jokes, still, so I says to her"— Mr. Wack- 
ernagel's whole face twinkled with amusement, and 

The Wackernagels at home 

his shoulders shook with hmshtor ns hi> contomplatcd 
the joke he had perpetrated— "I says, 'Well, it 
might be Gener'l Jackson' "—laughter again choked 
his utterance, and the stout form of Mrs. Wackernagel 
also was convulsed with amusement, while Amanda 
and Rebecca giggled appreciatively. Tillie and the 
doctor alone remained unaffected. " 'It might be 
Gener'l Jackson,' I says. ']5ut it ain't. It 's Abe 
Wackernagel,' I says. You see," he explained, "she 
ast me what might my name be.— See?— and I says 
'It might be Jackson'— mi't/Zii be, you know, because 
she put it that way, what might it be. 'But it ain't,' 
I says. 'It 's Wackernagel.' " 

Mr. and Mr; Wackernagel and their daughters 
leaned back in their chairs and gave themselves up to 
prolonged and exuberant laughter, in which the 
teacher obligingly joined as well as he was able. 

When this hilarity had subsid- Mr. Wackernagel 
turned to Mr. Fairchilds with a aestion. "Are you 
mebbe feelin' oneasy. Teacher, about meetin' the 
school directors to-night ? Vqu know they meet here in 
the hotel parlor at seven o'clock to take a look at you ; 
and if you suit, then you and them signs the agree- 
ment. ' ' 

"And if I don't suit?" 

"They '11 turn you down and send you back home !" 
promptly answered the doctor. "That there Board 
ain't conferrin' William Penn on no one where don't 
suit 'em pretty good ! They 're a wonderful partic 'lar 

After aupper the comely Amanda agreed eagerly to 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

the teacher's suggrestion that she K" with liim for a 
walk, before the ediiveniii!,' of the Seliool Hoard at 
seven o'clock, and sliow him the school-house, as he 
would like to behold, he said, "the seat of learnini;" 
which, if the Board elected him, was to be the scene 
of his winter's campaign. 

Amanda improved tliis opportunity to add her word 
of warnini; to that of the doctor. 

"That there Hoard 's awful hard to suit, still. 
Oncet they jiot a Millersville Normal out here, and 
when she come to sifin they seen she was near-sighted 
that way, and Nathaniel Puntz— he 's a director— he 
up and says that would n't suit .just so well, and they 
sent her back home. And here oncet a lady come out 
to apply and she should have sayed |she is reported to 
have said] she was afraid New Canaan had n't no 
accommodations good enough fur her, and the directors 
ast her, 'Did n't most of our Presidents come out of 
log cabins?' So they would n't elect her. Now," 
concluded Amanda, "you see!" 

"Thanks for your warning. Can you give me some 
pointers ? ' ' 

"What 's thjm again?" 

"Well, I must not be near-sighted, for one thing, 
and I must not demand 'all the modern improve- 
ments.' Tell me what manner of man this School 
Board loves and admires. To be in the dark as to 
their tastes, you know — " 

"You must make yourself nice and common," 
Amanda instructed him. "You have n't dare to put 
on no city airs. To be sure, I guess they come a good 


The Wackernagels at home 

bit natunil to yoii, anil, iis iiioiii says still, a bndy 
can't help fur their ilispusitidns; but our directors 
is all plain that way and they don't like tony peo- 
ple that wants to come out here and think they 're 
much ! ' ' 

"Yes? I see. Anything else?" 

"Well, they '11 be partie'lar about your beiu' a per- 
f essor. ' ' 

"IIow do you mean?" 

Amanda looked at him in astonishment. "If you 're 
a perfessor or no. They '11 be sure to ast you." 

Mr. Fairehilds thoughtfully considered it. 

"You mean," he said, light coming to him, "they 
will ask me whether I am a professor of religion, don't 

"Why, to be sure!" 


"And you better have your answer ready." 

"What, in your .iudgment, may I ask, would be a 
suitable answer to that?" 

"Well, are you a perfessor?" 

"Oh, I 'm anything at all that will get me this 
'job.' I 've got to have it as a makeshift until I can 
get hold of something better. Let me sec— will a 
Baptist do!" 

"Are you a Baptist?" the girl stolidly asked. 

"When circumstances are pressing. Will they be 
satisfied with a Baptist?" 

"That 's one of the fashionable churches of the 
world," Amanda replied gravely. "And the directors 
is most all Mennonites and Amish and Dunkards. All 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

them is plain churches and loosed of the worhl, you 
know. ' ' 

"Oh, well, I Ml wriggle out somehow! Trust to 
luckl" Pairchilds dismissed the subject, rcalizin}; the 
injudicioHsness of beinj; too confidential with this yirl 
on so short an acquaintance. 

At the momentous hour of seven, the directors 
promptly assembled. When Tillie, at her aunt's re- 
quest, carried two kerosene lamps into the parlor, a 
sudden determination came to the girl to remain and 
witness the reception of the new teacher by the School 

She was almost sick with apprehension lest the 
Board should realize, as she did, that this Harvard 
graduate was too fine for such as they. It was an 
austere Board, hard to satisfy, and there was no- 
thing they would so quickly resent and reject as evi- 
dent superiority in an applicant. The Normal School 
students, their usual candidates, were for the most 
part, though not always, what was called in the neigh- 
borhood "nice and common." The New Canaan 
Board was certainly not accustomed to sitting in 
judgment upon an applicant such as this Pestalozzi 
Pairchilds. (Tillie's religion forbade her to call him 
by the vain and worldly form of Mr.) 

No one noticed the pale-faced girl as, after placing 
one lamp on the marble-topped table about which the 
directors sat and another on the mantelpiece, she 
moved quietly away to the farthest corner of the long, 
narrow parlor and seated herself back of the stove. 

The applicant, too, when he came into .He room, 

The Wackernagels at home 

was too much takon up with what ho ronlizcd to be 
the perils of his case to observe tlie littl wateher 
in the corner, though he walked past her so close that 
his eoat brushed her shoulder, sendin<; alont; her 
nerves, like a faint electric shock, a sensation so novel 
and so exquisite that it made her suddenly close her 
eyes to steady her throbbins; head. 

There were present six members of the Board— two 
Amishmen, one Old Mennonite, one patriarchal-look- 
ing Dunkard, one New Mennonite, and one Evangel- 
ical, the difference in their religious creeds being at- 
tested by their various costumes and the various 
cuts of beard and hair. The Evangelical, the New 
Mennonite, and the Amishmen were farmers, the Dun- 
kard kept the store and the post-office, and the Old 
Mennonite was the «tage-driver. Jacob Getz was the 
Evangel'cal; and Nathaniel Puntz, Absalom's father, 
the New Mennonite. 

The investigation of the applicant was opened up 
by the president of the Board, a long-haired Amish- 
man, whose clothes were fastened by hooks and eyes 
instead of buttons and buttonhoh ■;. these latter be- 
ing considered by his sect as a worldly vanity. 

"What was your experience a 'ready as a teacher?" 

Pairchilds replied that he had nevei had any. 

Tillie's heart sank as, from her post in the corner, 
she heard this answer. Would the members think for 
one moment of paying forty dollars a month to a 
teacher without experience? She was sure they had 
never before done so. They were shaking their heads 
gravely over it, she could see. 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

But till' iiivostij.'ati<iii prcici'i'ilcU. 

"What was your Persuasion then?" 

Tillii- saw, in . .■ tcaciu'r's hesitation, that he did 
not understand tlie question. 

"My ' Persuasion ' 7 Oh! I see. You mean my 

"Yes, what 'a your conwictions?" 

He considered a nioiueni;. Tillie hunu breathlessly 
upon his answer. She knew how niueli depended upon 
it with this Board of "plain" people. Could he'ire 
them that he was "i Bible Christian"? Other vise, 
they would i; ver elect him to the New Canaan school. 

He save his reply, presently, in a tone suK^estins,' 
his having at that moment recalled to memoiy just 
what his "Persuasion" v,as. "Let me sec— yes— I 'm 
a Truth-Seeker." 

"What 's that again?" inquired the president, with 
interest. "I have not heard yet of that Persuasion." 

"A Truth-Seeker," he gravely explained, "is one 
who believes in— eh--in a progress from an indefinite, 
incoherent homogeneity to a definite, coherent hetero- 

The members looked at each other cautiously. 

"Is that the English you 're speakin', or what- 
ever?" asked the Dunkard member. "Some of them 
words ain't familiar with me till now, and I don't 
know right -hat they mean." 

"Yes, I 'm talking English," nodded the applicant. 
"We also believe," he added, growing bolder, "in the 
fundamental, biogenetic law that ontogenesis is an 
abridged repetition of philogenesis. ' ' 

The Wackernagcls at home 

"He cays thoy bi'lii'vr in dcm'sis." remnrkod tlic 
01(1 MiTiiKiniti', appi^iilint.' for aid, with bt'wiliK'ri'd 
lycs, to the other im i\U- rs. 

"Mjybf \u\ 'n a Jew yet!" put in Nathaniel Piintz. 

"We also believe," Mr. F:.;rehil(l.s eont.mi.'d, be- 
(.'innint' to enjoy himself, "in ti'e revelations of 

"He believes in Oenesis and in Kevelations, " ex- 
plained the president to the others. 

"Maybe he 's a Cat 'lie!" su^jgested the suspicious 
Mr. I'untz. 

"No," said Fairehilds, "I am, as I said, a Truth- 
Seekor. A Truth-Seeker can no more be a Catholic 
01 a Jew in faitli than an Amishnian can, or a Men- 
nnnite, or a Brennivinarian." 

Tillie knew he was trying to say " Winebrcnnarian," 
the name of one of the many religious sects of the 
count; nd she wondered at his not knowing better. 

"You ain't a gradyate, neither, are you?" was the 
president's next (|uestii n. the inscrutable mystery of 
the applicant's creed being for the moment dropped. 

"Why, yes, I thought you knew that. Oi Har- 

"Och, that!" contemptuously; "I mean you ain't 
a grad.vatc of llillcrsville Normal?" 

"No," humbly aeknowledu d Fairehilds. 

"When I was young," Mr. Otv/. irrelevantly re- 
marked, "we di'l n't have no grad.vate teachers like 
what they have hjw, still. Eut we anyhow learnt more 

"How long does it take you to get 'em from a, b, c's 


Tillie: A Mtnnonitc Maid 

to tho Testament f" inquired the patrinrchbl Dun- 

"That depends upon the capacity of thi' pupil," was 
Mr. Fairchilds's profound reply. 

"Can you learn 'em "rithmetic good?" asked Na- 
thaniel Puntz. "I got n son his last teacher coulu n t 
learn 'rithmetic to. He 's wonderful dumni in 'rith- 
metic, that there boy is. Ahsalmii liy name. After the 
grandfather. His teacher tried every way to learn 
him to count and finKer pood. He even took and 
spread toothpicks out yet— but that di<l n't learn him 
neither. I just says, he ain't apimintal to learn 'rith- 
metic. Then the teacher he tried him with such a Al- 
pebry. But Absalom he 'd (jet so mixed up! — he 
couldn't keep them x's spotted." 

"I have a method," Mr. Pairchilds began, "which 
I trust-" 

To Tillie 's distress, her aunt's voice, at this instant 
calling her to "come stir the sots [yeast] in," sum- 
moned lier to the kitchen. 

It was very hard to have to obey. She longed so to 
stay till Fairchilds should come safely through his 
fiery ordeal. For a moment she was tempted to ignore 
the summons, but her conscience, no less than her 
grateful affection for her aunt, made such behavior 
impossible. Softly she stole out of the room and 
noiselessly closed the door behind her. 

A half-hour later, when her aunt and cousins hml 
gone to bed, and while the august School Board still 
oceupieci the parlor, Tillie sat sewing in the sitting- 
room, while the doctor, at the other side of the table, 
nodded over his newspaper. 


. ^f^. 

The Wackernagcls at home 

Since Tillie IiikI <m)Mii' Id livr at lln' hot. I, slic and 'he 
(li)ctor wtTc often tonetlicr in tlie cvcnint' ; llii' Doc was 
fond of a ohat over his pipe with ',r cliihl whom ho 
so helped and hefrieniied in her secret slnii.'!rl,.s to 
echieate herself. There whs, of eourse, a strong bond 
of sympathy and friendshii' JMtwe.'ii them in their 
common con'ipiracy wn.i M ,s Margaret, whom tlic 
doctor had never ceased to hold in tender memory. 

Just now Tilli"'s cars were strained to eatcli the 
sounds of the adje • ninj; of the Hoard. When at last 
she heard their shuffling footsteps in the hall, luT 
heart beat fast witli suspense. A moment more and 
the door leadinK from the parlor opened and Fair- 
childs came out into the sittinj;-"oom. 

Tillie did not lift her eyes fr n her sewinjr, hut the 
room seemed suddenly filled \ .1 his presence. 

"Well!" the doctor rou.sed himself to niwt the 
young man; "were you 'leeted?" 

Breathlessly, TiUie waited to hear his ans •. 
"Oh, yes; I 've escaped alive!" FairchiU leaned 
atiainst the table in an attitude of utter rela.xation. 
"They roasted me brown, thoufih! Galileo at Rome, 
and Martin Luther at Worms, had a dead easy time 
compared to what I 've been through!" 
"I guess!" the doctor lausihed. "Ain't!" 
"I 'm Roinj; to bed," the teacher announced in a 
tone of collapse. "Good night !" 

"Good night!" answered the doctor, cordially. 
Fairchilds drew himself up from the table and took 
a step toward the stairway; this bnmght him to Til- 
lie's side of the table, and he paused a moment and 
looked down upon her as she sewed. 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

Her iingers troinbied, aixl the pulse in her throat 
beat suffocatingly ; but she diJ not look up. 

"Good night, Miss— Tillie, is nt 11?" 

"Matilda Maria," Tillie 's soft, shy voice replied as 
her eyes, full of light, were raised, for an instant, to 
the face above her. 

The man smiled and bowed his licknowledgment ; 
then, after an instant's hesitation, he saiu "Pardon 
me: the uniform you and Mrs. Waekernagel wear- 
may I ask whai it is?" 

" 'Uniform'?" breathed Tillie, wonderingly. "Oh, 
you mean the garb? We are members of meeting. 
The world calls us New Meiinonites." 

"And this is the uni— the garb of the New Men- 

"Yes, sir." 

"It is a very becoming garb, certainly," Fairchilds 
smiled, gazing down upon the fair young girl with 
a puzzled look in his own face, for he recognized, 
not only in her delicate features, and in the light of 
her beautiful eyes, but also in her speech, a something 
that set her apart from the rest of this household. 

Tillie colored deeply at his words, and the doctor 
laughed outright. 

"By gum! They wear the garb to make 'em look 
unbecomin'! And he ups and tells her it 's becom- 
in' yet! That 's a choke, Teacher! One on you, 
ain't? That there cap 's to hide the hair which is 
a pride to the sek ! And that cape over the bust is to 
hide woman's allurin' figger. See? And you ups 
and tolls her it 's a becomin' unyform! Unyforms 


The Wackernagels at home 

is what Now Mcnnonifos ddii't uphold to! Them 's 
fur Cat'lies and 'Piseopals— and fur warriors— and 
the Mennonitos don't favor war! Unyfornis yet!" 
he laufrhed. "I 'm swanjtcd if that don't tickle me!" 

"I stand corrected. I betr pardon if I 've of- 
fended," Pairehilds said hastily, "lli-ss— Matilda — 
I hope I 've not hurt your feelings? Believe me, I 
did not mean to." 

"Och!" the doctor answered for her, "Tillie she 
ain't so easy hurt to her feelin's, are you. Tillie? 
(iosh. Teacher, them maimers you prot must keep you! Well, sometimes I think I 'm better off if I 
stay common. Then I don't have to bother." 

The door leading from the bar-room opened sud- 
denly and Jacob fietz stood on the threshold. 

"Well, Tillie," he said by way of greeting. "Uncle 
Abe sayed you was n 't went to bed yet, so I stopped 
to see you a minute." 

"Well, father," Tillie answered as .she put down 
her sewing and eame up to him. 

Awkwardly he bent to kiss her, and Tillie, even in 
her emotional excitement, realized, with a passing 
wonder, that he appeared glad to see her after a week 
of separation. 

"It 's been some lonesome, havin' you away," he 
told her. 

"Is everybody well?" she asked. 

"Yes, middlin'. You was sewin', was you?" he in- 
quired, glancing at the work on the table. 

"Yes, sir." 

"All right. Don't waste your time. Next Satur- 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

day I '11 stop off after market on my way out from 
Lancaster and see you oncet, and get your wages off 
of Aunty Em." 

"Yes, sir." 

A vague idea of something unusual in the light of 
Tillie 's eyes arrested him. He glanced suspiciously 
at the doctor, who was speaking in a low tone to the 

"Look-ahere, Tillie. If Teacher there wants to 
keep comp'ny with one of yous girls, it ain't to be 
you, mind. He ain't to he makin' up to you! I 
don't want you to waste your time that there way." 

Apprehensively, Tillie darted a sidelong glance at 
the teacher to see if he had heard— for though no 
tender sentiment was associated in her mind with the 
idea of "keeping company," yet intuitively she felt 
the unseemliness of her father's warni-.ig and its ab- 
surdity in the eyes of such as this stranger. 

Mr. Fairchilds was leaning against the table, his 
arms folded, his lips compressed and his face flushed. 
She was sure that he had overheard her father. Was 
he angry, or— almost worse— did that compressed 
mouth mean concealed amusement? 

"Well, now, I must be goin'," said Mr. Getz. "Be 
a good girl, mind. Och, I 'most forgot to tell you. 
Me and your mom 's conceited we 'd drive up to 
Puntz's Sunday afternoon after the dinner work 's 
through a 'ready. And if Aunty Em don't want you 
partie'lar, you 're to come home and mind the chil- 
dern, do you hear?" 

"Yes, sir." 


The Wackernagels at home 

"Now, don't forget. Well, good-by, then." 

Again he bent to kiss her, and Tillie felt Fair- 
childs's eyes upon her, as unresponsively she sub- 
mitted to the caress. 

"Good night to you, Teaeher." Mr. Getz gruffly 
raised his voice to speak to the pair by the table. 
"And to you. Doc." 

They answered him and he went away. When Til- 
lie slowly turned back to the table, the teacher hastily 
took his leave and moved away to the stairway at the 
other end of the room. As she took up her sewing, 
she heard him mount the steps and presently close 
and lock the door of his room at the head of the 

"He was, now, wonderful rurprised, Tillie," the 
doctor confided to her, "when 1 tole him Jake Getz 
was your pop. He don't think /our pop takes after 
you any. I says to him, 'Tillie's pop, there, bein' one 
of your bosses, you better make up to Tillie,' I says, 
and he sayed, ' You don 't mean to tell me that that Mr. 
Getz of the School Board is the father of this girl?' 
'That 's what,' I says. 'He 's that much her father,' 
I says, 'that you 'd better keep on the right side of 
him by makin' up to Tillie,' I says, just to plague 
him. And just then your pop up and sayed if 
Teacher wanted to keep comp'ny he must pick out 
'Manda or Rebecca— and I seen Teacher wanted to 
laugh, but his manners would n't leave him. He 
certainly has, now, a lot of manners, ain't, Tillie?" 

Tillie's head was bent over her sewing and she 
did not answer. 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

The doctor yawned, stretched himself, and guessed 
he would step into the bar-room. 

Tillie bent over her sewintr for a lon<; time after 
she w;is left alone. The music of the yountr man's 
Srrave voice as le had spoken her name and called her 
"Miss Matilda" san;; in her brain. The fascination 
of his smile as he had looked down into her eyes, 
and the charm of his chivalrous courtesy, so novel to 
her experience, haunted and intoxicated her. And to- 
night, Tillie felt her soul flooded with a life and light 
so new and strange that she trembled as before a 

Meanwhile, Walter Fairchilds, alone in his room, 
his mind too full of the events and characters to 
which the past day had introduced him to ad'iit of 
sleep, was picturing, with mingled amusement and re- 
gret, the genuine horror of his fastidious relatives 
could they know of his present environment, among 
people for whom their vocabulary had but one word— 
a word which would have consigned them all, even 
that sweet-voiced, clear-eyed little Puritan, Matilda 
Maria, to outer darkness; and that he, their adopted 
son and brother, should be breaking bread and living 
on a footing of perfect equality with these villagers 
he knew would have been, in their eyes, an offense 
only second in heinousness to that of his apostasy. 




THE next day, beinj; the Sabbath, bnmsht to Til- 
lie two of the keenest temptations she had ever 
known. In the first place, she did not want to obey 
her father and go home after dinner to take rare of 
the children. All in a day the liotel had become to 
her the one haven where she would be, outside of 
which the sun did not shine. 

True, by soirg home she misht hope to escape the 
objectionable Sunday evening sitting-up with Absalom ; 
for in spite of the note she had sent him, tellin'r him of 
her father's wish that he must not come to see her at 
the hotel, she was unhappily sure that he would ap- 
pear as usual. Indeed, with his characteristic dog- 
ged persistency, he was pretty certain to follow her, 
whithersoever she went. And even if he did not, it 
woidd be easier to endure the slow torture of his end- 
less visit under this roof, which sheltered also that 
other presence, than to lose one hour away from its 
wonderful and mysterious charm. 

"Now, look hcr( Tillie," said Aunty Em, at the 
breakfast-table, "jou worked hard this week, and this 
after you 're restin'— leastways, unless you tvutit to 
go home and take care of all them litter of childern. 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

If you don't want to go, you just stay— and / 'II take 
the blame! I '11 say I needed you." 

"Let Jake Getz come 'round here tryin' to bully 
you, Tillie," exclaimed Mr. Wackernagel, "and it 
won't take me a week to tell him what I think of 
him! I don't owe him nothin'!" 

"No," agreed Jake Getz's sister, "we don't live off 
of him!" 

' ' And I don 't care who fetches him neither ! ' ' added 
Mr. Wackernagel— which expression of contempt was 
one of the most scathing known to the tongue of a 
Pennsylvania Dutchman. 

"What are you goin' to do, Tillie?" Amanda asked. 
"Are you goin' or stayin'?" 

Tillie wavered a moment between duty and inclina- 
tion ; between the habit of servility to her father and 
the magic power that held her in its fascinating spell 
here under her uncle's roof. 

"I 'm staying," she faltered. 

"Good fur you, Tillie!" laughed her uncle. 
"You 're gettin' learnt here to take your own head 
a little fur things. Well, I 'd like to geL you spoilt 
good fur your , -op— that 's what I 'd like to do!" 

"We darsent go too fur," warned Aunty Em, "or 
he won't leave her stay with us at all." 

"Now there 's you, Abe," remarked the doctor, 
dryly; "from the time your childern could walk and 
talk a 'ready all you had to say was 'Go'— and they 
stayed. Ain't?" 

Mr. Wackernagel joined in the loud laughter of his 
wife and daughters. 

1 86 


The Wackernagels "conwerse" 

Tillic realized that the teacher, as lie sipped his 
coffee, was listeninp trt the dialogue with astoni.shmont 
and curiosity, and she hungered to know all that was 
passing through his mind. 

Her second temptation came to her upon hearing 
Fairehilds, as they rose from the breakfast-table, 
suggest a walk in the woods with Amanda and 

"And won't Miss Tillie go too?" he inquired. 

Iler aunt answered for her. "Och, she would n't 
have dare, her bein' a member, you know. It would 
be breakin' the Sabbath. And anyways, even if it 
was n't Sunday, us New Mennonitcs don't take walks 
or do anythinnr just fur pleasure when they ain't no- 
thin' useful in it. If Tillie went, I 'd have to report 
her to the meetin', even if it did go ag'in' me to 
do it." 

"And then what would happen?" Mr. Fairehilds 
inquired curiously. 

"She 'd be set back." 


"She would n't have dare to greet the sisters with 
a kiss, and she could n't speak with me or eat with 
me or any of the brothers and sisters till she gave 
herself up ag'in and obeyed to the rules." 

"This is very interesting," commented Fairehilds, 
his contemplative gaze moving from the face of Mrs. 
Waekernagel to Tillie. "But," he questioned, "Mrs. 
Wackernagel. why are your daughters allowed to do 
what you think wrong and would not do?" 

"Well," began Aunty Em, entering with relish 


Tillie: A Mcnnonite Maid 

|) i 

into the (lisi'ussion, lor she was strong in theology, 
"we don't hold to foreiii' our childern or iiiterfcrin' 
with tlio free work of the Holy Spirit in bringin' souls 
to the truth. We don't do like them fashionable 
churches of the world where teaclies their childern to 
say their prayers and makes 'em read the Bible and 
go to Sunday-school. We don't uphold to Sunday- 
schools. You ean't read nothin' in the Scripture about We hold everybody must come by 
their free will, and learnt only of the Holy Spirit, 
into the light of the One True Way." 

Fairchilds gravely thanked her for her explanation 
and pursued the sul).ject no further. 

When Tillie presently saw him start out with her 
cousins, an unregencrate longing tilled her soul to stay 
away from meeting and go with them, to spend this 
holy Sabbath day in worshiping, not her God, but 
this most god-like being who had come like the opening 
up of heaven into her simple, uneventful life. In her 
struggle with her conscience to crush such sinful de- 
sires, Tillie felt that now, for the first time, she un- 
derstood how Jacob of old liad wrestled with the 

Her spiritual struggle was not ended by her going 
dutifully to meeting with her aunt. During a'l the 
long services of the morning she fought with her wan- 
dering attention to keep it upon the sacred words that 
were spoken and sung. But her thoughts would not 
be controlled. Straying like a wicked imp into for- 
bidden paths, her fancy followed the envied ones into 
the soft, cool shadows of the autumn woods and along 


The Wackcrnagels "conwersc" 

the banks of tho beaut; ail Cdiiestdfia, and niintilins,' 
with the (jentle niuriiiuiinK (if the h'aves and the lip- 
pli.ijr iif the water, Hhe heard that resimant voice, 
so uulikj any voice slie had ev\r heard before, and 
that littk- abrupt hiufih witli its odd falsetto note, 
which haunted her like a strain of music; and she 
saw, in the sunlisht of the h)vely October morn- 
in}.', against a background of gold and brown 
leaves and silver water, the finely chiseled face, 
the thoughtful, pale forehead, the kind eyes, the 
capable white hands, of this most wonderful young 

Tillie well understood that could the brethren and 
sisters know in wluit a worldly of mind she s'.t 
in the house of God this day, u.idoiditedly they w<juld 
present her case for "discipline," and even, perhaps, 
"set her back." But all the while that she tried to 
fight back the enemy of her soid, who thus subtly beset 
her with temptation to sin, she felt the utter useless- 
ness of her struggle with herself. For even when she 
did succeed in forcing her attention upon .some of the 
hymns, it was in whimsical and persistent terms of 
the teacher thai she c(msidered them, IIow was it 
possible, she wondered, for him, or any unconverted 
soul, to hear, without being moved to "give liim- 
self up," such lines as these: 

"lie washed them all to make them clean, 
But Judas still was full of sin. 
May none of us, like Judas, sell 
Our Lord fur gold, and go to hell!" 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

And thi'81'; 

"O mnn, remombor, thon nniRt dip; 
The st'Uti'iiot' U for you mid I. 
WhiTf slial'; we be, or will W(> go. 
When we must leave Uum world below?" 

In the snine moment that Tillie was won<lerinn how 
a "Truth-Seeker" would feel under these searchint; 
words, she felt herself condemned by them for her 
wanderintf attention. 

The young trirl's feelings toward the striuiger at 
this present staue of their evolution were not, like 
those of Amanda and l{ebeeca, the mere instinctive 
feminine craving for masculine admiration. She did 
not think of herself in relation to him at all. A gr-at 
hunger posses.sed her to know him— all his thoughts, 
his emotions, the depths and the heights of him: she 
did not .'' ig, or even wish, that he might know and ad- 
mire her. 

Till three-mile drive home from chureli seemed to 
Tillie, sitting in the high, old-fashioned buggy at her 
aunt's side, an endless journey. Never had old Dolly 
traveled so deliberately or with more freciuent dead 
stop" in the road to meditate upon her long-past youth. 
Mrs Waekernagel 's ineffectual slaps of the reins upon 
the oaek of the decrepit animal inspired in Tillie an 
inhuman longing to seize the whip and lash the fee- 
ble beast into a swift pace. The girl felt appalled 
at her own feelings, so novel and inexplicable they 
seemed to her. Whether there was more of ecstasy 
or torture in them, she liardly knew. 


The Wackernagels "conwerse" 

Imiiiprl lately after diniier the teneher went out ami 
(liil not turn up apiin until evening, when he retired 
itninediately to the seclusion (jf his own roc in. 

The niystilieiition of tli.. fiimily at this uiuiocount- 
ahly unsoeial behavior, their enriosily as to where he 
had been, their suspense as to what lie <lid when alon.' 
mi I' IK in his bedroom, reaehed a tension that was 
pn iful. 

Promptly at half-past six, Absalom, elad in his 
Sunday suit, appeared at the hotel, to perform his 
weekly stint of sittin^'-up. 

As Rcbeeea always oeeu,.ied the parlor on Sunday 
evening with her gentleman friend, there was only left 
to Absalom and Tillie to sit either in the kitchen or 
with the as.senibled family in the sittinjr-room. T.i 
lie preferred the latter. Of course she knew that sueh 
respite as the presence of the family gave her was only 
temporary, for in f ■ iendly consideration of what were 
supposed to be her feeliniis in the matter, they would 
all retire early. Absalom ahso knowing this, accepted 
the brief inconvenience of their presence without any 
marked restiveness. 

"Say, Absalom," inquired the doctor, as the young 
man took up his post on the .settee beside Tillie, sit- 
ting as close to her as he could without pushing her 
ofl^^, "how did your pop pass his opinion about the 
new teacher after the Board meeting Saturday, heh?" 
The doctor was lounging in his own special chair 
by the table, his fat legs crossed and his thumbs 
thrust into his vest arms. Amanda idly rocked back 
and forth in a large luridly painted rocking-chair by 





Tillic: A Mcnnonitc Maid 

the wimldw, nrid Mrs. WiicktriiiiKil «at by tli.' table 
bfforo nil open Hiblc in whirh sbc was nut tun muph 
nbHorbi'il to jniii occaHioiially in tho ({I'luTal uouvor- 

"He sayrd li>' was afraid he was snnic tony," an- 
NWiTcd Absalom. "And," be added, a reflivtion in 
Ills tone of his father's suspieioiiH altitude on Satm'- 
dny ni(;ht toward KairebildH. "pop sayed lir eoidd n't 
make out what was his eonwietions. He mmld n't even 
tell ritrht was he a Mible Christian or no." 

"lie certainly does, now, have jii'eooliar views," 

ajireed the doetor. " I was talkin' to him this after—" 

"You lias!" exclaimed Amanda, n note of oliaK'rin 

in lier voice. "Well. I 'd like to know where at? 

Where had he took himself to?" 

"Up to tlie woods there by the old mill. I eonie on 
him there at five o'clock— layin' readin' and musin' — 
when I was takin' a slioit cut home tliroutfh the woods 
C(miin' from Adam Oberholzer's. " 

"Well I never!" cried Amanda. "And was he out 
there all by bisself the whole afternoon?" she asked 

"So nmch as I know. Ain't he. now% a queer feller 
not to want a (tirl alons when one was so handy?" 
teased tlio doctor. 

"Well," retorted Amanda. "I think he 's hard up 
—to be spcndin' a whole afternoon readin'!" 

"Oh. Doc!" Tillie leaned forward and whispered, 
"he 's up in his room and perhaps lie can hear us 
throuch the resiister!" 
"I wisht he kin," declared Amanda, "if it would 


The Wackcrnagcis "conwersc" 

li'iirn him liow <liiiiiiii us fdlkx tliiiikN a fi-llcr 
wlu'i-c spi'iiilx u wliiilc Sunday at'tiriKinti by liisscif 

"Why, yes," put in Mrs. Wai-kfrnniicl ; "wliat 
woulil H hdily he wanlin' to wasti' time liki' llial fur? 
— whi'n he oiiuhl of sprnt his nice afttiiinori scltiti' 
thiTo on the porch with us all, conwrrsin'. " 

"And he 's at it au'iii this I'vcnin', up then' in 
liis room," the doctor informed them. "I went up to 
({ive him my lamp, and I 'in swanked if lie ain't yot 
a many books and such pamp'letH in his room! As 
mpny as ten, I truess ! I tole him : I says, • It does, now, 
beat all the way you take to them books an<l pamp'lets 
and thinsts!' " 

"It 's a pity of him!" said motherly Mrs. Wacker- 

"And I says to him," added the doctor, "I says, 
'You ain't much fur sociability, an' you?' I says." 

"WiU, I did think, too, Amanda," sympiitlii/.ed her 
mother, "he 'd set up with you mehl.e to-ni^' /, seein' 
Kebecea and Tillie 's each got their f;i nt'man comp'ny 
—even if he did n't mean it fur really, but only to 
pass the time. ' ' 

"Och, he need n't think I 'm dyin' to s<'t up willi 
him! There *s a plenty others would be glad to set up 
with me. if I was one of them that was fur keepin' 
comp'ny with just aiiijViauy ! But I did think when 
I heard he was goin' to stop here that inebbc he 'd 
be a jollji feller that way. Well," Amanda con- 
cluded scathingly, "I 'm goin' to tell Lizzie Hershey 
she ain't missin' much!" 



Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

"What 's them pecooliar vie\.3 of hisn you was 
goin' to speak to us, Doe?" said Absalom. 

"Oeh, yes, I was goin' to tell you them. Well, here 
this after we got to talkin' about the subjeck of 
prayer, and I ast him his opinion. And if I under- 
stood right what he meant, why, prayin' is no different 
to him than musin'. Leastways, that 's the thought 
T got out of his words." 

"Musin'," repeated Absalom. "What 's musin'?" 

"Yes, what 's that ag'in?" asked Mr.s, Waokernagel, 
alert with curiosity, theological discussions being al- 
ways of deep interest to her. 

"Musin' is settin' by yourself and thinkin' of your 
learnin'," explained the doctor. "I 've took notice, 
this long time back, educnted persons ;hey like to se* 
by theirselves, still, and muse." 

"And do you say," demanded Absalom, indig- 
nantly, "that Teacher he says it 's the same to him 
as prayin'— this here musin'?" 

"So much as I know, that 's what he sayed." 

"Well." declared Absalom, "that there ain't in the 
Bible! lie 'd better watch out! If he ain't a Bible 
Christian, pop and Jake (ietz and the other directors 
'11 soon put him off William Pennl" 

"Oeh, Absalom, go sass your gran 'mom!" was the 
doctor's elegant retort. "What 's ailin' you, any- 
ways, that you want to be so spunky about Teacher? 
I guess you 're mebbe thinkin' he '11 cjt you out with 
Tillie, ain't?" 

"I 'd like to see him try it onoet!" growled Ab- 


The Wackernagels "conwerse" 

Tillie grew cold with fear that the teacher might 
hear them; but she knew there was no use in pro- 

"Are you goin' to keep on at William Pcnn all 
winter, Absalom?" Mrs. Waekernagel asked. 

"Just long enough to see if he kin learn 'rithme- 
tie to me. Ezra Herr, he was too dumm to learn me." 

"Mebbe," said the doctor, astutely, "you was too 
dumm to get learnt!" 

"I am wonderful dumm in 'rithmetic," Absalom 
acknowledged shamelessly. "But pop says this here 
teacher is smart and kin mebbe learn me. I 've not 
saw him yet myself." 

Much as Tillie disliked being alone with her suitor, 
she was rather relieved this evening when the family, 
en masse, significantly took its departure to the second 
floor ; for she hoped that with no one but Absalom to 
deal with, she could induce him to lower his voice so 
their talk would not be audible to the teacher in the 
room above. 

Had she been able but faintly to guess what was to 
ensue on her being left alone with him. .she would liiive 
fled up-stairs with the rest of the family and left 
Absalom to keep company with the chairs. 




ONLY a short time had the sitting-room been aban- 
doned to them when Tillie was forced to put a 
check upon her lover's ardor. 

"Now, Absalom," she firmly said, moving away 
from his encircling arm, "unless you leave me be, 
I 'm not sitting on the settee alongside you at all. 
You must not kiss me or hold my hand— or even 
touch me. Never again. I told you so last Sunday 
night." ■ 

"But why?" Absalom asked, genuinely puzzled. 
"Is it that I kreistle you, Tillie?" 

"N— no," she hesitated. An affirmative reply, she 
knew, would be regarded as a cold-blooded insult. 
In fact, Tillie herself did not understand her own 
repugnance to Absalom's caresses. 

"You act like as if I made you feel repulsive to me, 
Tillie," he complained. 

"N— no. I don't want to be touched. That 'sail." 

"Well, I 'd like to know what fun you think there 
is in settin' up with a girl that won't leave a feller 
kiss her or hug her!" 

" I 'm sure I don 't know what you do see in it, Absa- 
lom. I told you not to come. " 


The teacher meets Absalom 

"If I ain't to hold your hand or kiss you, what are 
we to do to pass the time?" ho reasoned. 

"I '11 tell you, Absalom. Let me read to you. Then 
we would n't be wasting the evening." 

"I ain't nuieh fur readin'. I ain't like Teacher." 
lie frowned and looked at her darkly. "I 've took 
notice how much fur books you are that way. Last 
Sunday night, too, you sayed, 'Let me read somepin 
*o you.' Mebbe you and Teacher will be settin' u]) 
readin' together. And mebbe the Doc was n't just 
jokin' when he sayed Teacher might cut me out!" 

"Please, Absalom," Tillie implored him, "don't 
talk so loud ! ' ' 

"I don't care! I hope he hears me sayin' that if 
he ever comes tryin' to get my girl off me, I '11 get 
pop to have him put off his job!" 

"None of you know what you are talking about," 
Tillie indignantly whispered. "You can't under- 
stand. The teacher is a man that would n 't any more 
keep company with one of us country gii..j than you 
would keep company, Absalom, with a gipsy. He 's 
above us!" 

"Well, I guess if u 're good enough fur "le, 
Tillie Getz, you 're good enough fur anybody else— 
leastways fur a man that gets his job off the wotes of 
your pop and mine!" 

"The teacher is a— a gentleman, Absalom." 

Absalom did not understand. " Well, I guess 
I know he ain't a lady. I guess I know what his 
sek is!" 

Tillie sighed in despair, and sank Hack on the 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

scttpc. For a fow minutos tlicy sat in strained 

"I never seen a girl lilse what you are! You 're 
wonderful diti'erent to tlie otlier girls I 've knew 
a 'ready. ' ' 

Tillie did not reply. 

"Where d' you eome by them books you read?" 

"The Doe gels thein for me " 

"Well, Tillie, look-aliere. I spoke somepin to the 
Doe how I wanted to fetch you somepin along when 
I come over sometime, and I ast him what, now, he 
thought you would mebbe like. And he sayed a book. 
So I got Cousin Sally I'untz to fetch one along fur me 
from the Methodist Sunday-school li-bry, and here I 
brung it over to you." 

He produced a small volume from his coat pocket. 

"I was "most ashamed to bring it, it 's so wonderful 
little. I tole Cousin Sally, 'Why did n't you bring nie 
a bigger book?' And she sayed she did try to get 
a bigger one, but they was all. There 's one in that 
li-bry with four hunderd pages. I tole her, now, she's 
to try to get me that there one next Sunday before it 's 
took by somebody. This one 's 'most too little." 

Tillie smiled as she took it from him. "Thank you, 
Absalom. I dim't care if it 's little, so long as it 's 
interesting— and instructive," she spoke primly. 

"The Bible 's such a big book, I thought the bigger 
the book was, the nearer it was like the Bible," said 

"But there 's the dictionary, Absalom. It 's as big 
as the Bible." 


' T'nli'Ms you U-iivc nn' lu-, T 'm mi sittiu^' ou thu settef 
alon^'siilc j-iiii iit ail.'" 


The teacher meets Absalom 

"Don't the size make notliin'?" Absalom asked. 

Tillie shook her head, still siiiilint;. She glanced 
down and read aloud the title of t'.ie book she held: 
" 'What a Youni; Husband Oushl to Know.' " 

"But, Absalom!" she faltered. 

"Well? What?" 

She looked up into his heavy, blank face, and sud- 
denly a faint sense of humor seemed born in her— and 
she laujjhed. 

The lausrh illumined her face, and it was too raueh 
for Absalom. He seized her and kissed her, with re- 
sounding emphasis, squarely on the mouth. 

Instantly Tillie wrenehed herself away from him 
and stood up. Her face was flushed and her eyes 
sparkled. And yet, she was not indifinant with him 
in the sense that a less unsophisticated girl would have 
been. Absalom, according to New Canaan standards, 
was not exceeding his rights under the circumstances. 
But an instinct, subtle, undefined, incomprehensible 
to herself, contradicted, indeed, by every convention 
of the neighborhood in which .she had been reared, 
made Tillie feel that in yielding her lips to this man 
for whom she did not care, and whom, if she could 
hold out against him, she did not intend to marry, she 
was desecrating her womanhood. Vague and obscure 
as her feeling was, it was strong enough to control her. 

"I meant what I said, Absalom. If you won't leave 
me be, I won't stay here with you. You '11 have to go 
home, for now I 'm going right up-stairs. " 

She spoke with a firmness that made the dull youth 
suddenly realize a thing of which he had never 



Tillie: A Mcnnonite Maid 

dreamed, that however sliglitly Tillie resembled her 
father iii other respects, she did have a bit of his 

SVie took a step toward the stairs, but Absalom 
seized her skirts and pulled her back. "You need n't 
think I 'm leavin' you act like that to me, Tillie!" 
he muttered, his ardor whetted by the difficulties 
of his eourtinf;. "Now I 'II learn you!" and holding 
her Slight form in his burly grasp he kissed her again 
and again. 

"Leave me go!" she cried. "I '11 call out if you 
don 't ! Stop it, Absalom ! ' ' 

Absalom laughed aloud, his eyes glittering as he 
felt her womanly helplessness in his strong clasp. 

"What you goin' to do about it, Tillie? You can't 
help yourself— you got to get kissed if you want to or 
no!" And again his articulate caresses sounded upon 
her shrinking lips, and he roared with laughter in his 
own satisfaction and in his on,ioymcnt of her predica- 
ment. "You can't help yourself," he said, crushing 
her against him in a bearish hug. 

"Absalom!" the girl's voice rang out sharply in 
pain and fear. 

Then of a sudden Absalom's wrists were seized 
in a strong grip, and the young giant found his arms 
pinned behind him. 

"Now, then, Absalom, you let this little girl alone. 
Do you understand?" said Fairchilds, coolly, as he let 
go his hold on the youth and stepped round to his side. 

Absalom's face turned white with fury as he real- 
ized who had dared to interfere. Re opened his lips, 

The teacher meets Absalom 

but speech would not come to him. ClenchinR his fiii- 
RiTS, he drew back his arm, but liis heiivy fist, eoiiiini! 
swiftly forward, was caught easily in Fairehilds's 
pahii— and held ihere. 

"Come, ecmie," he said soothiu^ly, "it isn't worth 
while to row, you know. And in the ])resence of the 

"You mind to your own business!" splutt<'red Ab- 
salciiii, struffsilinji to free his liand, and, to his owr sur-, failing, Quickly he drew back his left fist and 
ajiain tried to strike, only to tind it too caufiht and held, 
with no apparent effort on the part of the teacher. 
Tillie, at first pale with fright at what had promised 
to be so unequal a contest in view of the teacher's 
slight frame and the brawny, muscular strenfrth of 
Absalom, felt her pulses bound with a thrill of admira- 
tion for this cool, (juict force which ccmid render the 
other's fury so helpless; while at the same time she 
felt sick with shame. 

"Blame you!" cried Absalom, wildly. "Le' me 
be! It don't make nothin' to you if I kiss my girl! 
I don't owe you nothin'! You le' me be!" 

"Certainly," returned Fairchilds, cheerfully. 
"Just stop annoying Miss Tillie, that 's all I want." 

He dropped the fellow's hands and deliberately 
drew out his handkerchief to wipe his own. 

A third time Absalom made a furious dash at him, 
to find his two wrists caught in the vise-like grip 
of his antagonist. 

"Tut, tut, Absalom, this is quite enough. Behave 
yourself, or I shall be obliged to hurt you." 


Tillic: A Mennonite Maid 


"I'ou— you whiti'-fiiei'il, wdinuii-fuocd mnckcrol ! 
You think yu kin hurt mi'! You—" 

"Nov. then," Fairchilds iiRain dropped Absalom's 
hands and pieked up from the settee tlie book whieh 
the youth hiid presented to Tillie. "Here, Absalom, 
take your 'What a Vouni? Husband Ouuht to Know' 
and go home." 

Something in the teacher's quiet, confident tone 
cowed Absalom completely— for the time beinR, at 
least. He was comiuercd. It was very bewilderinR. 
The man before him was not half bis weight and was 
not in the least ruffled. How had he so easily "licked" 
him? Absalom, by reason of bis stalwart phys- 
ique and the fact that his father was a director, 
had, during most of bis school life, found pleas- 
ing diversion in keeping the various teachers of Wil- 
liam Penn cowed before him. He now saw his 
supremacy in that quarter at an end— phys'pally 
speaking at least. There might be a moral point 
of attack. 

" Look-ahere ! " he blustered. "Do you know my 
pop 's Nathaniel Puntz, the director!" 

"You are a credit to him, Absalom. By the way. 
will you take a message to him from me? Tell him, 
please, that the lock on the sehool-rooni door is broken, 
and I "d be greatly obliged if he would send up a lock- 
smith to mend it." 

Absalom look^-d discouraged. A Harvard graduate 
was, manifestly, a freak of nature— invulnerable at all 

"If pop gets down on you, you won't be long at 


The teacher meets Absalom 

William I'l'iin!" ho bullic(l. "You 'II soon gvt chasi'd 
ofT your job!" 

"My job lit breakins yoi; in? Well, well, I niiRlit 
be spundinK my time more profitHbly, that 's so." 

"You go on out of hiTi' and le' nic alone will' 
my girl!" (juavercd Absalom, blinking away ti-ars of 

"That will be as she says. IIow is it, Miss Tillie? 
Do you want him to go?" 

Now Tillie knew that if she allowed Absalom Punt/, 
to leave her in his present state of ballled anger, Paii-- 
ehilds would not remain in New ('Hnn;iii a month. 
Absalom was his father's only ehiUI. and Nathaniel 
I'untz was known to be both suspieious and vindietive. 
"Clothed in a little brief authority," as school di- 
rector, he never missed an opportunity to wield his 
precious power. 

With (juick insight, Tillie realized the teacher 
would think meanly of her if, after her outcry at 
Absalom's amorous behavior, she now ineonsi.stently 
ask that he remain with her for the rest of the 
evening. Btit what the teacher might think about liir 
did not nuitter so much as that he should be saved 
from the wrath of Absalom. 

"Please leave him stay," she answered in a low 

Fairchilds gazed in surprise upon the girl's sweet, 
troubled face. "Let him stay?" 

"Then perhaps my interference was unwelcome?" 
"I thank you, but— I want him to stay." 


Tillic: A Mennonite Maid 

"Ye»f I hcg pardon for my intrusion. Good 

He turned nway somewhat abruptly and left the 

And Tillio was again alone witli Absalom. 

I •, 


In iiis ehnniber, jiettinn ready for bed, Fairehilds'a 
thoughts idly dwell upon the strange c<infnidietion8 he 
seemed to see in the eharacter of the little .Mennonite 
maiden. lie had thought that he recognized in her 
a difference from the rest of this household— a dif- 
ference in speech, in feature, in counteiuince, in her 
whole personality. And yet she could allow the 
amorous iittenticms of that coarse, stupid cub; and 
her protestations against the fellow's liberties with 
her hail been mere eoipietry. Well, he would be care- 
ful, another time, how he played the part of a Don 

Meantime Tillic, with suddenly developed histri- 
onic skill, was, by a Spartan self-sacrifice in submit- 
ting to Absalom's love-making, overcoming his wrath 
against the teacher. Absalom never suspected how he 
was being played upon, or what a mere tool he was in 
the hands of this gentle little girl, when, somewhat to 
his own .surprise, he found himself half promising 
that the teacher should not be complained of to his 
father. The infinite tact and scheming it required 
on Tillie's part to elieit this assurance without fur- 
ther arousing his jealousy left her, at the end of his 
prolonged sitting-up, utterly exhausted. 

Yet when at last her weary head found her pillow, 


The teacher meets Absalom 

it was not to rost or sl.'pp. A Imimtint;. fiiiiful cer- 
tainty possessed her. "Diimrn" as lie was, AbsaUiiii, 
in his invulnerable perslsfeney, had Ixwimc to the 
tired, tortured K'\r\ HJinply an irresistible force of 
Nature. And Tillie felt that, striiKKle as slie iriitdil 
iRainst him, there would pome a day when slu' eould 
fiKht no longer, and so at last she must fall a victim 
to this incarnation of Dutch determiiuition. 








IX the next few days, Tillie tried in vain to summon 
eourage to appeal to the teaelier for assistance in 
her winter's study. Day after day she resolved to speak 
to him, and as often postponed it, unable to eoniiuer 
her shyness. Meantime, however, under the stimulus 
of his constant presence, she applied herself in every 
spare nioirient to the school-books used by her two 
cousins, and in this unaided work she succeeded, as 
usual, in makinf? headway. 

Fairehilds's attention was arrested by the frequent 
picture of the little Mennonite maiden conning school- 
books by lamp-light. 

One evening he happened to be alone with her for 
a few minutes in the sitting-room. It was Hallow- 
e'en, and he was waiting for Amanda to come down 
from her room, where she was arraying herself for 
conquest at a party in the village, to which he had 
been inv'ted to escort her. 

"Studying all alone!" he inquired sociably, coming 
to the table where Tillie sat, and looking down upon 

' ' Yes, ' ' said Tillie, raising her eyes for an instant. 

"May I see?" 


Tillie reveals herself 

lie bent to Irt i- ,1 her book, pfcssiiifr it open with 
his iiahn, an., lie uioviniei.i broiifcht his hand in con- 
taet with hers, i iilie foit J' )r an instant as if she were 
Koing to swoon, '^ s'r ..,};"iy delicious was the shock. 

" 'Hiawatha,' " he .said, all unconscious of the tem- 
pest in the little .soul apparently so close to him, yet 
in reality so immeasurably far away. "Do you en- 
joy it?" he inquired curiously. 

"Oh, yes"; then (juickly she added, "I am pars- 
ins it." 

"Oh!" There was a faint disappointment in liis 

"But," she confessed, "I read it all throU!.'h the 
first day I beyan to parse it, and -and I wish I was 
parsing somethin-; else, because I keep reading this 
instead of parsing it, and—" 

_ "You enjoy the story and the poetry?" he ques- 

"But a body must n't read just for pleasure," she 
said timidly; "but for instruction; and this 'Hia- 
watha' is a temptation to me," 

"What makes you think you ought not to read 'just 
for pleasure'?" 

"That would be a vanity. And we llennonitcs arc 
loosed from the things of the world." 

"Do you never do anything just for the pleasure 
of it?" 

"When pleasure and duty go hand in hand, then 
pleasure is not displeasing to Ood. But Christ, you 
know, did not go aboi\t seeking pleasure. And we "try 
to follow him in all things." 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

"But, child, has not God made the world beauti- 
ful for our pleasure? Has he not given us appetites 
and passions for our pleasure?— minds and hearts and 
bodies constructed for pleasure?" 

"Has he made anything for pleasure apart from 
usefulness?" Tillie asked earnestly, suddenly forget- 
ting her shyness. 

"But when a thing gives pleasure it is serving the 
highest possible use," he insisted. "It is blasphemous 
to close your nature to the pleasures God has created 
for you. Blasphemous!" 

"Those thoughts have come to me still," said Til- 
lie. "But I know they were sent to me by the Enemy." 

" 'The Enemy'?" 

"The Enemy of our souls." 

"Oh!" he nodded; tli ii abruptly added. "Now do 
you know, little girl, I would n't let Iiim bother me at 
this stage of the game, if I were you ! lie 's a back 
number, really!" He checked himself, remembering 
how dangerous such heresies were in New Canaan. 
"Don't you find it dull working alone?" he asked 
hastily, "and rather uphill?" 

"It is often very hard." 

"Often? Then you have been doing it for some 

"Yes," Tillie answered hesitatingly. No one ex- 
cept the doctor shared her secret with Miss Margaret. 
Self-concealment had come to be the habit of her life 
—her instinct for self-preservation. And yet, the 
teacher's evident interest, his presence so close to her, 
brought all her soul to her lips. She had a feeling 


Tillie reveals herself 

that if she could overcome her shyness, she wouhl be 
able to speak to him as unrestrainedly, as truly, as she 
talked in her letters to Miss Margaret. 

"Do you have no help at all?" he pursued. 
Could she trust him with the secret of Miss Mar- 
garet's letters? The habit of seeretiveness was too 
strong upcm her. "There is no one here to help me— 
unless you would sometimes," she timidly answered. 
"I am at your service always. Nothing could give 
me greater pleasure." 

' ' Thank you. ' ' Her face flushed with delight. 
"You have, of course, been a pupil at William 
Penn?" he asked. 

"Yes, but father took me out of school when I was 
twelve. Ever since then I 've been trying to educate 
myself, but—" she lifted troubled eyes to his face, 
"no one here knows it but the doctor. No one must 
know it." 

"Trust me," he nodded. "But why must they not 
know it?" 
"Father would stop it if he found ?t out." 

"He would n't leave me waste the time." 
"You have had courage- to have struggled against 
such odds. ' ' 

"It has not been easy. But— it seems to me 
the things that are worth having are never easy to 
Pairchilds looked at her keenly. 
"' The things l^at are worth having ' ? What do you 
count as such things?" 

" 211 

Tillje: A Mennonite Maid 



"Knowlpd};i> and truth; and personal freedom to 
be true to one's self." 

He concealed the shook of surprise he felt at hei' 
words. "Wliat have we here?" lie wondered, liis 
p.'lse quiekenin'r as he looked into the shining up- 
raised lyes of the f;irl ant' saw the tumultuous heav- 
ing of her bosom. He had been risfht after all, then, 
in feeliii}; that she was different from the rest of them ! 
He could see that it was under the stress of unusual 
emotion that she <rave expression to thoughts which of 
necessity she must seldom or never utter to those about 

" 'Personal freedom to be true to one's self?" he 
repeated. "What would it mean to you if you 
had it?" 

"Life !" she answered. "I am only a dead machine, 
except when I am living out my true self." 

He deliberately placed his hand on hers as it lay on 
the table. "You make me want to clasp hands with 
you. Do you realize what a big truth you have gotten 
hold of— and all that it involves?" 

"I only know what it means to me." 

"You are not free to be yourself?" 

"I have never drawn a natural breath except in 

Tillie's face was glowing. Scarcely did she know 
herself in this wonderful experience of spi'aking 
freely, face to face, with one who understood. 

"My own recent experiences of life," he said 
gravely, "have brought me, too. to realize that it is 
death in life not to be true to one's self. But if vou 

21 2 


Tillie reveals herself 

wait for the freedom to he so— " ho shriif:>.'ed his shoul- 
ders. "One always has thai fivcdoin if he will take 
it— at its fearful cost. To be uneotiiproniisinsily and 
always true to one's self simply means uiartyrdoni in 
one form or another." 

He, too, marveled that he should have found any 
one in this household to whom lie eoidd sjieak in sueli 
a vein as this. 

"I always thought, " Tillie said, "that when I 
was enou^'h educated to be a teacher and bi' indepen- 
dent of father, I would be free to live truly. But 
I see that you cannot. You, too, have to hide your 
real self. Else you could not stay here in New 

"Or anywhere else, child," he smiled. "It is only 
with the rare few whom one finds on one's own 
line of march that one can be absolutely one's self. 
Your secret life. Miss Tillie. is not uni(|ue." 

A fa.scinatins; little brown curl had escaped from 
Tillie's cap and lay on her cheek, and she raised h.'r 
band to push it back where it belonsed, under its 
snowy Menncmite coverinfr. 

"Bon't!" said Fairehilds. "Let it be. It '.s 

Tillie stared up at him, a new wonder in her eyes. 
"In that Mennouite cap, you look like-like a Jla- 
donna!" Almost unwittinprly the words had leaped 
fiom his lips; he could not hold them back. And in 
utt.Tinf; them, it came to him that in the freedom 
peniiissible to him with an nn.sophisticated b'ut in- 
teresting and gifted girl like this- freedom from the 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

conventional n'straiiits which hud always limited his 
intercourse with the girls of his own social world- 
there might be possible a friendsliip such as he had 
never known except with tliose of his own sex— and 
with them but rarely. The thought cheered him 
mightily; for his life in New Canaan was heavy witli 

With the selfishness natural to man, he did not stop 
to consider what such companionship might come to 
mean to this inexperienced girl steeped in a life of 
sordid labor and unbroken monotony. 

There came the rustle of Amanda's skirts on the 

Fairchilds clasped Tillie 's passive hand. "I feel 
that I have found a friend to-night." 

Amanda, brilliant in a scarlet frock and pink rib- 
bons, appeared in the doorway. The vague, almost 
unseeing look with which the teacher turned to her 
was interpreted by the vanity of this buxom dam- 
sel to be the dazzled vision of eyes half blinded by her 

For a long time after they had gone away together, 
Tillie sat with her face bowed \ipon her book, happi- 
ness surging through her with every great throb of her 

At last she rose, picked up the lamp and carried 
it into the kitchen to the little mirror before which 
the family combed their hair. Holding the lamp high, 
she surveyed her features. As long as her arm would 
bear the weight of the uplifted lamp, she gazed at her 
reflected image. 


'Amiuidu, brilliant in a searlet 
froL'k and pink ribbons.'* 

Tillie reveals herself 

When presently with trembling arm she set it on the 
dresser, Tillie, like Mother Eve of old, had tasted of 
the Tree of Knowledge. Tillie knew that she was very 


That evening marked another crisis in the girl's 
inner life. Far into the night she lay with her eyes 
wide open, staring into the darkness, seeing there 
strange new visions of her own smd, gazing into its 
hitherto unsounded depths and seeing there the heaven 
or the hell— she scarcely knew which-that possessed 
all her being. 

"Blasphemous to close your nature to the pleasures 
(Jod has created for you!" His words burned them- 
selves into her brain. Was it to an abyss of degrada- 
tion that her nature was bearing her in a swift and 
fatal tide-or to a holy height of blessedness? Al- 
ternately her fired imagination and awakened passion 
exalted her adoration of him into an almost religious 
joy, making her yearn to give herself to him, soul 
and body, as to a god ; then plunged her into an agony 
of remorse and terror at her own idolatry and law- 

A new universe was opened up to her, and all of 
life appeared changed. All the poetry and the stories 
which she had ever read held new and wonderful 
meanings. The beauty in Nature, which, even as a 
child, she had felt in a way she knew those about her 
could never have understood, now spoke to her in a 
language of infinite significance. The mystery, the 
wonder, the power of love were revealed to her, and 
her soul was athirst to drink deep at this magic foun- 
tain of living water. 


Tillie: A Mcnnonitc Maid 

"You look like n Miicloimii!" Oh. Hiiirly, thouRlit 
Tillip, in till' lotii; limirs of tlmt waki'fiil iiiulit. this 
bliss which filh'<l hiT hiiiit mis ii tciiiptiition of \hr 
Evil One, who did imt sciiiplf In use I'Vrn such lis the 
teacher for iin instriiineiit to work her iiiidoinu! Wiis 
not his siitiinie liiind clearly shown in thisc vain and 
wicked thonKlits which crowded upon her— thoujthls 
of how fair she would look in a red j.'o\vn like 
Amanda's, or in a blue hat like Uebeeca's, instead of 

in her white cap and black 1 d? She I'rushed her 

face in her pillow in an a^'ony of retnorse for her own 
faithlessness, as she felt how hideoiis was that black 
Mcnnonitc hood iind all the plain nurb which hitherto 
had stood to her for the peace, the comfort, the hap- 
piness, of her life! With all her mind, she fried to 
force back such wayward, sinful lho\ii.'hts, but the 
more she wrestled with them, the more persistently did 
they obtrtide themselves. 

On her knees she passionately prayed to bo de- 
livered from the temptation of such unfaithfulness 
to her Lord, even in secret thouKlit. Yet even while 
in the very act of pleadinn for mercy, forKivcness, 
help, to her own unutterable horror she found herself 
wonderinR whether she would dare brave her father's 
wrath and ask her aunt, in the morninsr, to keep back 
from her father a portion of her week's wajres that she 
niifiht buy some new white caps, her old ones beiuf! of 
poor material and very worn. 

It was a tenet of her church that "wearinsr-apparel 
was instituted by God as a necessity for the sake of 
propriety and also for healthful warmth, but when 

Tillie reveals herself 

DHOil for pur|iiisi'» of mjorniiiint it Ix^oomos tlio ovi- 
(IcMco (if 1111 UM-Cluislliki' spirit. " Nnw Tillie knew 
Hint lii'i- |iri'Hi'iit yiiiinini.' fur new caps wiis iinnnpti'd. 
nut liy tlic priiisi'wortliy Mnd sirnpli' dcsiri' td l)c iihtcI;. 
iii'at, hut whiilly tiy licr viiiii lonniii).' to nppi^ir rncin' 
fair ill till' cyis nf the tcarln'r. 

Thus until tlic small huurs of the ninriiiii:' did thi' 
yciiiiin L'irl wri'stli' with tlic (■(intlictiiij.' fcirws in her 


Hut thi- Kni'iny had it all liis cnvti way; for wlini 
Tillie wi'iit iliiwu-stairs next ninniini.' tn help her aunt 
(ret hreakfast. she knew that she intended this day tn 
liuy thiise new caps in spite of the inevitable penalty 
she wnulil have tci suffer fur darinj; tn use her own 
iiKiney withiml her father's leave. 

And when she walki'd into the kitchen, her aunt was 
amazed to see the siiil's fair face hmkinj; nut from a 
halo (if t(?ndcr little brrnvn curls, vvlr.-h, with a tor- 
tured conscience, and nn apprehension of retribution 
at the hands nf the meetins, Tillie had brushed frnm 
under her cap and arranged with artful care. 



tHjIJE tells a lie 

IT was eleven o'clock on the following Saturday 
morning, a busy hour at the hotel, and Mrs. Wack- 
crnagel and Tillie were both hard at work in the 
kitchen, while Rebecca and Amanda were vigorously 
applying their young strength to "the up-stairs 
work. " • 

The teacher was lounging on the settee in the sit- 
ting-room, trying to read his Boston Transcript and 
divert his mind from its irritation and discontent 
under a condition of things wh n made it impossible 
for him to command Tillie 's time whenever he wanted 
a companion for a walk in the woods, or for a talk in 
which he might unburden himself of his pent-up 
thoughts and feelings. The only freedom she had was 
in the evening; and even then she was not always 
at liberty. There was Amanda always ready and at 
hand— it kept him busy dodging her. Why was Fate 
so perverse in her dealings with him? Why could n't 
it be Tillie instead of Amanda? Pairchilds chafed 
under this untoward condition of things like a fret- 
ful child— or, rather, just like a man who can't have 
what he wants. 
Both Tillie and her aunt went about their tasks this 


Tillie tells a lie 

morning with a nervousness of movement and an 
anxiety of countenance that told of something un- 
wonted in the air. Fairehilds was vaguely conscious 
of this as he sat in the adjoining room, with the door 

"Tillie!" said her aunt, with a sharpness unusual 
to her, as she closed the oven door with a spasmodic 
bang, "you put on your shawl and bonnet and go 
ri^ht up to Sister Jennie Ilcrshey's for some bacon." 
"Why, Aunty Em!" said Tillie, in surprise, look- 
ing up from the table where she was rolling out paste ; 
"I can't let these pies." 
"I '11 finish them pies. You just go now." 
"But we 've got plenty of bacon." 
"If we 've got bacon a-plenty, then get some pon- 
haus. Or some mush. Hurry up and go, Tillie!" 

She came to the girl's side and took the rolling-pin 
from her hands. ' ' And don 't hurry back. Set awhile. 
Now get your things on quick." 
"But, Aunty Em-" 

"Are you mindin' me, Tillie, or ain't you?" her 
aunt sharply demanded. 

"But in about ten minutes father will be stopping 
on his way from Lancaster market," Tillie said, 
though obediently going toward the corner where hung 
her shawl and bonnet, "to get my wages and see me, 
Aunty Em— like what he does every Saturday still." 
"Well, don't be so dumm, Tillie ! That 's why I 'm 
sendin' you off!" 

"Oh, Aunty Em, I don't want to go away and 
leave you to take all the blame for those new capsl 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

And, anyhow, father will stop at Sister Jennie Iler- 
shey's if he don't find me here." 

"1 won't tell him you're there. And push them 
curls under your cap, or Sister Jennie '11 be tellin' the 
meeting, and you '11 be set back yet! I don't know 
what 's come over you, Tillie, to act that wain and 
unregenerate ! ' ' 

"Father will guess I 'm at Sister Jennie's, and he '11 
stop to see." 

"That 's so, too." Aunty Em thoughtfully consid- 
ered the situation. "Go out and hide in the stable, 

Tillie hesitated as she nervously twisted the strings 
of her bonnet. "What 's the use of hiding. Aunty 
Em? I 'd have to see him next Saturday." 

"He won't be so mad about it till next Saturday." 

Tillie shook her head. "lie '11 keep getting angrier 
—until he has satisfied himself by punishing me in 
some way for spending that money without leave." 

The girl 's face was pale, but she spoke very quietly, 
and her aunt looked at her curiously. 

"Tillie, ain't you afraid of your pop no more?" 

"Oh, Aunty Em! Ycd, I am afraif' of him." 

"I 'm all fidgety myself, thinkin' about how mad 
he '11 be. Dear knows what ijou must feel yet, Til- 
lie— and what all your little life you 've been feelin', 
with his fear always hangin' over you still. Some- 
times when I think how my brother Jake trains up his 
childcrn!"— indignation elioked her— "I have feelin 's 
that are un-Christlike, Tillie!" 

"And yet. Aunty Em," the girl said earnestly, 


Tillie tells a lie 

"father does care for me too— even though he always 
did think I ought to want nothing else but to work 
for him. But he docs care for me. The couple of 
times I was sick already, he was concerned. I can't 
forget it." 

"To be sure, he 'd have to be a funny man if he 
was n't concerned when his own child 's sick, Tillie. 
I don't give him much for that." 

"But it always puzzled me, Aunty Em— if father's 
concerned to see me sick or suffering, why will he him- 
self deliberately make me suffer more than I ever suf- 
fered in any sickness? I never could understand 

"He always thinks he 's doin' his duty by you. 
That we must give him. Oeh, my! there 's his wagon 
stoppin' )iow! Go on out to the stable, Tillie! 

' ' Aunty Em !" Tillie faltered, "I'd sooner stay and 
have it done with now, than wait and have it hang- 
ing over me all the week till next Saturday." 

There was another reason for her standing her 
ground and facing it out. Ever since she had yielded 
to the temptation to buy the caps and let her hair 
curl about her face, her conscience had troubled lier 
for her vanity; and a vague feeling that in suffering 
her father's displeasure she would be expiating her 
sin made her almost welcome his coming this morn- 

There was the familiar heavy tread in the bar-room 
which adjoined the kitchen. Tillie flushed and paled 
by turns as it drew near, and her aunt rolled out the 


■ »T ■ 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

paste with a vigor and an emphasis that expressed 
her inward agitation. Even Fairehilds, in the next 
room, felt himself infected with the prevailing sus- 

"Well!" was Jake Getz's greeting as he entered 
the kitchen. " Era ! " he nodded to his sister. ' ' Well, 

There was a note ' affection in his greeting of his 
daughter. Tillie realized that her father missed her 
presence at home almost as much as he missed the 
work that she did. The nature of his regard for her 
was a mystery that had always puzzled the girl. How 
could one he constantly hurting and thwarting a per- 
son whom one cared for? 

Tillie went up to him dutifully and held out her 
hand. He took it and bent to kiss her. 

"Are you well? You 're lookin' some pale. And 
your hair 's strubbly [untidy]." 

"She 's been sewin' too steady on them clo'es 
fur your childern," said Aunty Em, quickly. "It 
gives her such a pain in her side still to set and 
sew. I ain't leavin' her set up every night to sew 
no more! You can just take them clo'es home, 
Jake. They ain't done, and they won't get done 

"Do you mebbe leave her set up readin' books or 
such pamp'lets, ain't?" Mr. Getz inquired. 

"I make her go to bed early still," Mrs. Wacker- 
nagel said evasively, though her Mennonite conscience 
reproached her for such want of strict candor. 
" That dude teacher you got stay in' here mebbe 


Tillie tells a lie 

gives her things to read, ain't!" Mr. Getz pursued his 

"He 's never grve her nothin' that I seen him," 
Mrs. Waekernagel affirmed. 

"Well, mind you don't leave her waste time rcadin'. 
She ain't to." 

"You need n't trouble, Jake !" 
"Well," said Jake, "I '11 leave them elo'os another 
week, and mebbe Tillie '11 feel some better and ean i;et 
■ in done. Mom won't like it when I eome without 
'em this mornin'. She 's needin' 'em fur the ehildern, 
and she thought they 'd be done till this morning 
a 'ready." 

"Why don't you hire your washin' or buy her a 
washin '-machine? Then she 'd have time to do her 
own sewin'." 

"Work don't hurt a body," Mr. Getz maintained. 

"It 's healthy. What 's Tillie doin' this morning?" 

"She was bakin' these pies, but I want her now to 

redd up. Take all them pans to the dresser, Tillie." 

Tillie went to the table to do as she was bid. 

"Well, I must be goin' home now," said Mr. Getz. 

"I '11 take Tillie 's wages, Em." 

Mrs. Waekernagel set her lips as she wiped her 
hands on the roller-towel and opened the dressier 
drawer to get her purse. 

"How 's herf" she inquired, referring to Mrs. Getz 
to gain time, as she counted out the money. 
"She 's old-fashioned." 
"Is the ehildern all well?" 
"Yes, they 're all middlin' well. Hurry up, Em; 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

I 'm in a liurry, and yon 're takin' wonderful lon<; 
to count ont them two dollars." 

" It 's only one and a half this week, Jake. Tillie 
she had to have some new caps, and they come to fifty 
cents. And I took notice her underdo 'es was too 
thin fur this cold spell, and I wanted her to buy her- 
self a warm petticoat, but she would n't take the 
money. ' ' 

An angry led dyed the swarthy neck and forehead 
of the man, as his keen eyes, very like his sister's, only 
lackin<r their expression of kindness, flashed from her 
face to the countenance of his daufjhtcr at the dresser. 

"What business have you lettin' her buy any- 
thing?" he sternly demanded. "You was to give me 
her wages, and I was to buy her what she could n't do 
without. You 're not keepin' your bargain!" 

"She needed them caps right away. I could n't 
wait till Saturday to ast you oncet. And," she boldly 
added, "you ought to leave her have another fifty 
cents to buy herself a warm petticoat!" 

"Tillie!" commanded her father, "you come here!" 

The girl was very white as she obeyed him. But her 
eyes, as they met his, were not afraid. 

"It 's easy seen why you 're pale! I guess it ain't 
no pain in your side took from settin' up sewin' fur 
mom that 's made you pale! Now see here," he 
sternly said, "what did you do somepin like this fur? 
Spendin' fifty cents without astin' me!" 

"I needed the caps," she (juietly answered. "And 
I knew you would not let me buy them if I asked you, 


Tillie tells a lie 

"You 're standin' up hero in front of mo and sayin' 
to my face you done sonicpin you knowi'd I woul<l n't 
(jive you durst to do! And you have uo business, any- 
how, wearin' them Xew Mennonite eaps! I never 
wanted you to take up with that blamed foolishness! 
Well, I 'II learn you I If I Iwul you home I 'd whip 

"You ain't touchin' her 'round Iinr!" exclaimed 
his sister. "You just try it, Jake, and I 'II call Abe 

"Is she my own child or ain't she, Em Wacker- 
na<;el! And can I do with my own what I please, or 
must I ast you and Abe Waekernasiel?" 

"She 's too growed up fur to be punished, Jake, 
and you know it." 

"Till she 's too prowed up to obey her pop, she Ml 
get punished," he aflfirnied. "Where 's the good of 
your religion, I 'd like to know, Em— settin' a child 
on to defy her parent? And you, Tillie, you stole 
that money off of me! Your earnin's ain't yourn 
till you 're twenty-one. Is them Xew Mennonite prin- 
ciples to take what ain't yourn! It ain't only the 
fifty cents I mind— it 's your disobedience and your 

"Oh, father! it was n't stealing!" 

"Of course it was n't stealin'— takin' what you 
earnt yourself— whether you arc seventeen instead 
of twenty-one!" her aunt warmly as.sured her. 

"Now look-ahere, Em ! If yous are goin' to get her 
so spoilt fur me, over here, she ain't stayin' here. I '11 
take her home!" 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

"Well, take her!" diplomatically answered his sis- 
ter. "I can get Abe's niece over to East Donegal fur 
one-seventy-flve. She 'd be glad to eome!" 

Mr. Getz at this drew in his sails a bit. "1 '11 give 
her one more chancet," he compromised. "But I 
ain't givin' her no second chancet if she does somepin 
again where she ain't got darst to do. Next time I 
hear of her disobeyin' me, home she comes. I 'd 
sooner lose the money than have her spoilt fur me 
Nov/ look-ahere, Tillie, you go get them new caps and 
bring 'em here." 

Tillie turned away to obey. 

"Now, Jake, what are you up tof" his sister de- 
manded as the girl left the room. 

' ' Do you suppose I 'd leave her hcep them caps she 
stole the money off of me to buy!" Getz retorted. 

"She earnt the money!" maintained Mrs. Wacker- 

"The money was n't he-n, and I 'd sooner throw 
them caps in the rag-bag than leave her wear 'em 
when she disobeyed me to buy 'em." 

"Jake Getz, you 're a reg'Iar tyrant ! You mind me 
of Herod yet— and of Punshus Palate !" 

"Ain't I foUowin' Scripture when I train up my 
child to obey to her parent!" he wanted to know. 

"Now look-ahere, Jake; I '11 give you them fifty 
cents and make a present to Tillie of them caps if 
you '11 leave her keep 'em." 

But in spite of his yearning for the fifty cents, Mr. 
Getz firmly refused this offer. Paternal discipline 
must be maintained even at a financial loss. Then. 

Tillie tells a lie 

too, penurious and saving as he was, ho was strictly 
honest, and he wouhl nut have thought it right to let 
his sister pay for his child's necessary wearing-ap- 

"No, Tillie 's got to be punished. When I want 
her to have new caps, I '11 buy 'em fur her." 

Tillie reenteretl the room with the precious bits of 
linen tenderly wrapped up in tissue paper. Her 
pallor was now gone, and her eyes were red with 
crying. She came to her father's side and handed him 
the soft bundle. 

"These here caps," he said to her, "mom can use 
fur night-caps, or what. When you buy somepin un- 
Unownst to me, Tillie, I ain't leavin' you keep it! 
Xow go 'long back to your dishes. And next Satur- 
day, when I come, I want to find them clo'es done, do 
you understand!" 

Tillie 's eyes followed the parcel as it was crushed 
ruthlessly into her father's coat pocket— and she did 
not heed his (luestion. 

"Do you hear me, Tillie?" he demanded. 
"Yes," she answered, looking up at him with brim- 
ming eyes. 

His sister, watching them from across the room, saw- 
in the man's face the working of conflicting feelings— 
his stern displeasure warring with his affection. Mrs. 
Wackernagel had realized, ever since Tillie had come to 
live with her, that "Jake's" brief weekly visits to his 
daughter were a pleasure to the hard man ; and not 
only because of the two dollars which he came to col- 
lect. Just now, she could see how he hated to part 

TilHe: A Mcnnonitc Maid 

from her in anjier. Justiec hiivinK' bpcu nu'ti'd uut 
in the form of the erushed and forfeited cai)s in his 
pocket, he would fain take leave of the (,'irl with some 
expression of his kindlier feelinjjs toward her. 

"Now are you beliavin' yourself -Mke a Kood Rirl — 
till I come again?" he asked, laying his hand upon 
her shoulder. 

"Yes," she said dully. 

"Then give me good-by." She held up her face 
and submitted to his kiss. 

"Good-by, Em. And mind you stop spoilin' my 
girl fur me!" 

lie opened the door and went away. 

And Pairchilds, an unwilling witness to the father's 
brutality, felt every nerve in his body tingle with 
a longing first to break the head of that brutal 
Dutchman, and then to go and take little Tillie in his 
arms and kiss her. To work off his feelings, he sprang 
up from the settee, put on his hat, and flung out ' " the 
house to walk down to "the l.rik." 

"Never you mind, Tillie," her aunt conso' her. 
"I 'm goin' in town ne.xt Wednesday, and I 'm buy in' 
you some caps myself fur a present." 

"Oh, Aunty Em, but maybe you 'd better not be 
so good to me!" Tillie said, dashing away the tears 
as she industriously ri'bbed her pans. "It was my 
vanity made me want new caps. And fatlier's taking 
them was ma "e the Lord punishing my vanity." 

"You needed new caps— your old ones was wore out. 
And don't you be jiidyin' the Lord by your pop! 
Don 't try to stop me— I 'm buy in ' you some caps. " 


' 'Oil, Aunty Km, I lov«> yim lik*- 1 'vo 
never luvfd iiiiy (Hit* -except 

Mi^s .M:ir-,'uri'l jiinl— '" 

Tillie tells a lie 

Now Tillie knew liow bicdiniiin: llii> mw raps were 
to her, ami her soul yenrned fur flicin even as (sli 
told herself) Israel of old yearned :ifter the Hesli-pot.. 
of E^ypt. To lose ::,eni was really a bitter disap- 
pointment to her. 

Hut Aunty Em would spare her that urief ! A suil- 
den passionate impulse of gratitude and love towanl 
her aunt made her do a most unwonted tiling. Tak- 
ing her hands from her dish-water, she dried thi'in 
hastily, went over to Mrs. Waekernat'el, threw her 
arms about her neck, and kissed her. 

"Oh, Aunty Em, I love you like I 've never loved 
any one— e.xcept Miss Marparet and—" 

She stopped short ns she buried her face in her 
aunt's motherly bosom and clunj; to her. 

"And who else, Tillie?" Mrs. Waekernas-el asked, 
pattinK the pirl's shoulder, her face beaming with 
pleasure at her niece's aflfectionate demonstration. 

"No one else, Aunty Em." 

Tillie drew herself away and again returned to her 
work at the dresser. 

But all the rest of that day her conscience tortured 
her that she should have told this lie. 

For there was some one else. 



TILLIB IS "set back 

ON Sunday morning, in spite of her aunt's protes- 
tations, Tillie went to meeting with her curls 
outside her cap. 

"They '11 set you back!" protested Mrs. Wacker- 
nagel, in great trouble of spirit. 

"It would be worse to be deceitful than to be vain," 
Tillie answered. "If I am going to let my hair curl 
week-days, I won't be a coward and deceive the meet- 
ing about myself." 

"But whatever made you take it into your head to 
act so wain, Tillie?" her bewildered aunt inquired for 
the hundredth time. "It can't be fur Absalom, fur 
you don't take to him. And, anyways, he says he 
wants to be led of the Spirit to give hisself up. To be 
sure, I hope he ain't tempted to use religion as a 
means of gettin' the girl he wants !'' 

"I know I 'm doing wrong. Aunty Km," Tillie re- 
plied sorrowfully. "Maybe the meeting to-day will 
help me to conquer the Enemy." 

She and her aunt realized during the course of the 
morning that th' curls were creating a sensation. An 
explanation would certainly be demanded of Tillie 
before the week was out. 


Tillie is "set back" 

After the service, they did not stop long for "socia- 
bility,"— the situation was too strained,— but hurried 
out to their buggy as soon as they could escape. 

Tillie marveled at herself as, on the way home, she 
found how small was her concern about the disap- 
proval of the meeting, and even about her sin itself, 
before the fact that the teacher thought her curls 

Aunty Em, too, marveled as she perceived the girl's 
strange indifference to the inevitable public disgrace 
at the hands of the brethren and sisters. Whatever 
was the matter with Tillie? 

At the dinner-table, to spare Tillie 's evident embar- 
rassmeii, (perhaps because of the teacher's presence), 
Mrs. Wackernagel 'liverted the curiosity of the family 
as to how the meiung had received the curls. 

"What did yous do all while we was to meeting?" 
she asked of her two daughters. 

"Me and Amanda and Teacher walked to Buck- 
arts Station, ' ' Rebecca answered. 

"Did yous, now?" 

"Up the pike a piece was all the fu'ther I felt fur 
goin'," continued Rebecca, in a rather injured tone; 
"but Amanda she was so fur seein' oneet if that fellah 
with those black mustnehc was at the blacksmith's 
shop yet, at Buckarts! I tole her she needn't be 
makin' up to him, fur he 's keepin' eomp'ny with 
Lizzie Ilershey !" 

"Say, mom," announced Amanda, ignoring her 
sister's rebuke, "I stopped in this morning to see Liz- 
zie Ilershey, and she 's that spited about Teacher's 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 




comin' liere instead of to their place that she never so 
much as ast me would I spare my hat!" 

"Xow look!" exclaimed Mrs. Waekernagel. 

"And when I said, after while, 'Now I must sio,' 
slie was that unneighborly she never ast me, ' What 's 
your hurry?' " 

"Was she that spited!" said Mrs. Wackernagel, 
half pityingly- "W'cll, it was just like Sister Jennie 
llershey, if she did n't want Teacher stayin' there, 
to tell him right out. Some ain't as honest. Some 
talks to please the people." 

"What fur sermont did yous have this morning?" 
asked Mr. Wackernagel, his mouth full of chicken. 

"We had Levi Ilarnish. lie preached good," said 
Mrs. Waekernagel. "Ain't he did, Tillie?" 

"Yes," replied Tillie, coloring with the guilty con- 
sciousness that scarcely a word of that sermon had she 

"I like to hear a sermont, like hisn, that does me 
good to my heart," said Mrs. Waekernagel. 

"Levi Ilarnish, he 's a learnt preacher," said her 
husband, turning to Fairchilds. "lie reads wonder- 
ful much. And he 's always thinkin' so earnest about 
his learnin' that I 've saw him walk along the street 
in Lancaster a'ready and a 'most walk into people!'' 

"lie certainly can stand on the pulpit elegant!" 
agreed Mrs. Waekernagel. "Why, he can preach his 
whole sermont with the Bible shut, yet ! And he can 
put out elocution that it 's something turrible!" 

"You arc not a Mennonite, are you?" Fairchilds 
asked of the landlord. 


Tillie is "set back" 

"No," responded Mr. Waekernagcl, with a shrug. 
"I bothered a whole lot at one time about religion. 
Now I never bother." 

"We had Sila.s Trout to lead the singin' thi.s morn- 
ing," continued Mrs. Waekernagel. "I wisht I could 
sing by note, like liini. I don't know notes ; I just sing 
by random." 

"Where 's Doe, anyhow?" suddenly inquired 
Amanda, for the doctor's place at the table was 

"He was fetched away. Mary Ilolzapple's mister 
come fur him!" iMr. Waekernagel explained, with a 
meaning nod. 

Waekernagel. "So soon 
it was Sue Hess! Doc's 
Nothin' but babies and 

"I say!" cried Mrs. 
a'ready! And last week 
always gettin ' » fetched ! 

Tillie, whose eyes were always on the teacher, ex- 
cept when he chanced to glance her way, noted won- 
deringly the blush that suddenly covered his face and 
neck at this exclamation of her aunt's. In the prim- 
itive simplicity of her mind, she could see nothing 
embarrassing in the mere statement of any fact of 
natural history. 

"Here comes Doe now !" cried Rebecca, at the open- 
ing of the kitchen door. "Hello, Doe!" she cried 
as he came into the dining-room. "What is it?" 

"Twin girls!" the doctor proudly announced, going 
over to the stove to warm his hands after his long 

"My lands!" exclaimed Amanda. 



Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

"Now what do you think!" ejaculated Mrs. Wack- 
"How 's missus?" Rebecca inqi'ired. 
"Doin' fine! But mister he ain't feelin' so well. 
He wanted a boy— or boys, as the case might be. It 's 
gettin' some cold out," he added, rubbing his hands 
and holding them to the fire. 

That evening, when again Fairchilds was unable to 
have a chat alone with Tillie, because of Absalom 
Puntz's unfailing appearance at the hotel, he began 
to think, in his cha^. in, that he must have exaggerated 
the girl's superiority, since week after week she could 
endure the attentions of "that lout." 

He could not know that it was for his sake— to 
keep him in his place at William Penn— that poor Til- 
lie bore the hated caresses of Absalom. 

That next week was one never to be forgotten 
b"y Tillie. It stood out, in all the years that followed, 
as a week of wonder— in which were revealed to her 
the depths and the heights of ecstatic bliss— a bliss 
which so filled her being that she scarcely gave a 
thought to the disgrace hanging over her— her sus- 
pension from meeting. 

The fact that Tillie and the teacher sat together, 
now, every evening, called forth no surmises or suspi- 
cions from the Wackernagels, for the teacher was 
merely helping Tillie with some studies. The family 
was charged to guard the fact from Mr. Getz. 

The lessons seldom lasted beyond the early bedtime 
of the family, for as soon as Tillie and Fairchilds 
found the sitting-room abandoned to their private use, 

Tillie is "set back" 

the school-books were put aside. They had somewhat 
to say to each other. 

Tillie 's story of her long friendship with Miss Mar- 
garet, which she related to Fairchilds, made him bet- 
ter understand much about the girl that had seemed 
inexplicable in view of her environment; while her 
wonder at and sympathetic interest in his own story 
of how he had come to apply for the school at New 
Canaan both amused and touched him. 

" Do you never have any doubts, Tillie, of the truth 
of your creed!" he asked curiously, as they sat one 
evening at the sitting-room table, the school-books and 
the lamp pushed to one end. 

He had several times, in this week of intimacy, 
found it hard to reconcile the girl's fine intelligence 
and clear thought in some directions with her reli- 
gious superstition. He hesitated to say a word to 
disturb her in her apparently unquestioning faith, 
though he felt she was worthy of a better creed than 
this impossibly narrow one of the New Mennonites. 
"She is n't ready yet," he had thought, "to take hold 
of a larger idea of religion." 

"I have sometimes thought," she said earnestly, 
"that if the events which are related in the Bible 
should happen now, we would not credit them. An 
infant born of a virgin, a star leading three travelers, 
a man who raised the dead and claimed to be God— 
we would think the folks who believed these things 
were ignorant and superstitious. And because they 
happened so long ago, and are in the Book which we 
are told came from God, we Believe. It is very 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

strange! Somotimos my thoupthts trouble me. I try- 
hard not to leave such thounhts come to me." 

"Let, Tillie, not 'leave.' " 

"Will I ever learn not to fiet my 'leaves' and 'lets' 
mixed!" sighed Tillie. despairingly. 

"Use 'let' whenever you find 'leave' on the end of 
your tongue, and vice versa," he advised, with a smile. 

She looked at him doubtfully. "Are you joking?" 

"Indeed, no! I could' n't give you a better rule." 

"There 's another thing I wish you would tell me, 
please," she said, her eyes downcast. 


"I can't call you 'Mr.' Fairehilds, because such 
complimentary speech is forbidden to us New Men- 
iicmites. It would come natural to me to call you 
'Teacher.' but you would think that what you call 
'provincial.' " 

"But you say 'Miss' Margaret." 

"I could not get out of the way of it, because I had 
called her that so many years before I gave myself 
up. That makes it seem different. But you— what 
nmst I call you?" 

"I don't see what 's left— unless you call me 

"I must have something to call you," she pleaded. 
"Would you mind if I called you by your Christian 

"I should like nothing better." 

lie drew forward a volume of Mrs. Browning's 
poems which lay among his books on the table, opened 
it at the fly-leaf, and pointed to his name. 


It I' 


Tillie is "set back." 

" 'Walter'?" read Tillie. "But I thouKlit-" 

"It was Pcstalozzi! That was only my little joke. 
My name 's Walter." 

On the approach of Sunday, Pairchilds questioned 
her one evening about Absalom. 

"Will that lad be takin;; up your whole Sunday 
evening again ?" he demanded. 

She told him, then, why she suffered Absalom 's un- 
welcome attentions. It was in order that she might 
use her influence over him to keep the teacher in his 

"But I can't permit such a thing!" he vehemently 
protested. "Tillie, I am touched by your kindness 
and self-sacrifice ! But, dear child, I trust I am man 
enough to hold my own here without your suffering 
for me! You must not do it." 

"You don't know Nathaniel Puntz!" She shook her 
head. "Absalom will never forgive you, and, at a 
word from him, his father would never rest until he 
had got rid of you. You see, none of the directors 
like you— they don't understand you— they say you 
are 'too tony.' And then your methods of teaching— 
they are n't like those of the Millersville Normal 
teachers we 've had, and therefore are unsound! I 
discovered last week, when I was out home, that my 
fathc r is very much opposed to you. They all felt 
.iust so to Jliss Margaret." 

"I see. Nevertheless, you shall not bear my bur- 
dens. And don't you see it 's not just to poor Absa- 
lom? You can't marry him, so you ought not to 
encourage him." 



Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

"It I refused to le— !f( Absalom come, you would 

not roimiin n month at New Cniiaan," was her answer. 

"Hut it is n't a matter of life and death to me 

to stay at New Canaan ! I need not starve if I lose my 

position here. There are better places." 

Tillie gazed down upon the chenille table-cover, and 
did not speak. She could not tell him that it did seem 
to lur a matter of life and death to have him stay. 

"It seems to me, Tillie, you could shake off Absalom 
through your father's objections to his attentions. 
The fellow could not blame you for that." 

"But don't you sec I must keep him by me, in order 
to protect you." 

"My dear little girl, that 's rough on Absalom; and 
I 'm not sure it 's worthy of you." 

"But you don't understand. You think Absalom 
will be hurt in his feelings if I refuse to marry him. 
But I 've told him all along I won't marry hira. And 
it is n't his feelings that are concerned. He only 
wants a good housekeeper. ' ' 

Fairchilds's eyes rested on the girl as she sat be- 
fore him in the fresh bloom of her maidenhood, and 
he realized what he knew she did not— that unsenti- 
mental, hard-headed, and practical as Absalom might 
be, if she allowed him the close intimacy of "setting- 
up" with her, the fellow must suffer in the end in 
not winning her. But the teacher thought it 
to make no further comment, as he saw, at any ra. , 
that he could not move her in her resolution to defend 
And there was another thing that he saw. The 




Tillie is "set back' 

extraneous differcncog botween hinisolf and Tillie, and 
even the radical dift'crcncis of breeding and heredity 
which, he had assumed t'runi the firat, made any least 
romance or sentiment on the part of either of them 
unthinkable, h()wev^r much they ininht enjoy a Kood 
comradeship,— all these dift'erences had stran^'cly sunk 
out uf sitjht as he had, from day to day. tjrown in 
touch with the girl's real self, and he found himself 
unable to think of her and himself except in that 
deeper sense in which her soul met his. Any other 
consideration of their relation seenu'd almost gro- 
tes<iue. This was his feelinf;— but his reason strug- 
dled with his feelinj; and bade him beware. Suppose 
that she too should come to feel that with the meet- 
ing of their spirits the difference in their conditions 
melted away like ice in thi' sunshine. Would not the 
result be fraught with tragedy for her? For himself, 
he was willing, for the sake of his present pleasure, 
to risk a future wrestling with his impracticable sen- 
timents ; but what must be the cost of such a struggle 
to a frail, sensitive girl, with no compensations what- 
ever in any single phase of her life ! Clearly, he was 
treading on dangerous ground. He must curb him- 

Before another Sunday came around, the ax had 
fallen— the brethren came to reason with Tillie, and 
finding her unable to say she was sincerely repentant 
and would amend her vain and carnal deportment, 
she was, in the course of the next week, "set back." 

"I would be willing to put back the curls," she 
said to her aiint, who also reasoned with her in pri- 



Tillie: A Mcnnonitc Maid 

viilc; "Imt it wcMilil iiviiil iinlliiiii:. F"i' my linirf is 
still vain ami euniiil. ■Man Uniiii'lli ii|>'"' ""' ""twnrd 
ii|i|H'iiniiiPi'. but (icid Inokclh (Hi tlic heart.' " 

"Tlicn, Tillie," said her aiml, her kindly face pah' 
with distress in the resulutioii she had taken, "you '11 
have to (to home and stay. You ean't stay here bh 
lonn as you 're not holding.' out in your professions." 

Tillie 's faee went white, and she cazed into her 
aunt's resolute pountennnee with anguish in her own. 

"I 'd not do it to send you away, Tillie, if I could 
otherwise help it. Hut look how iiiconwenient it 
would be havin' you here to h.'lp work, and me not 
hnvin' dare to talk or eat with you. I 'm not oheyin' 
to the 'Rules' )ww in talkin' to y<ni. Hut I tole the 
brethren I 'd only speak to .you lonj; enoujih to reason 
with you some-and then, if tliat did n't make no- 
thin', I 'd send you home," 

The Rules forbade the niend)ers to sit at table or 
hold any unnecessary word of communication with one 
who had failed to "hold out," and who had in con- 
seciuenco been "set back." Tillie, in her strange in- 
difference to the disfirace of beinj; set back, had not 
foreseen her inevitable dismissal from her aunt's cm- 
ploy. She recojinized, now, with despair in her sold, 
that Aunty Em could not do otherwise than send her 

">Vhen must I go. Aunty Em?" 

"As soon as you make your mind up you ain't goin' 
to repent of your carnal deportment." 

"I can't repent, Aunty Em !" Tillie's voice sounded 
hollow to herself as she spoke. 

Tillic is "set back" 

"Then, Tillic, yoii 'ri' (.'ot tn izi< t(i-?iii>rriiw. I '11 
havi' to ]!vt my iiiicc rnun Kasl Diiniuiii 'i\ r." 

It souiulcd to Tillii' like llic cnn'k of doiiTii. 

The doctor, wlio \v:is loatli to liiivc Ini- li'iivc, wlio 
held licr iiittTi'sts iil luiii'l, anl who knew what she 
would forfeit in losiii« the li'l|i whieli llie teiieher 
wiis (liviiii; her diiily in her shulies. umlertook to 
add his expostulations to that ol' the hrelhern and 

"By tjuiiii Tillie. sliel llieni .■..viiiie"<l euils '"( k, if 
they don't suit the ta l. ol lie iv.Ji.j;! Are you 
willin' to leave jio your niee .ilie.-iioii. where you "re 
gettin', fur a couple of ihinu.' '1 ei ,; , ? I iliii't know 
what 'a not into you to net so IiI.mihcI sliililio'D ahout 
keepin' your hair struhhled 'round ycjiir faee!" 

"But the vanity would still he in my heail even if 
I did brush them buck. And I don't vant to b' de- 

"Oeh, come now," urped the doctor, "just till 
you 're !.'<>t your certificate a'ready to leach! That 
would n't be long. Then, after that, you can be as 
undoceitful as you want." 

But Tillic could not be brought to view the matter 
in this light. 

She did not sit at table with the family that day, 
for that would have forced her aunt to staj away from 
the table. Mrs. Waekernapel co\dd break bread with- 
out reproach with all her unconverted household; but 
not with a backslider— for the prohibition was in- 
tended as a discipline, imposed in all love, to bring 
the recalcitrant member back into the fold. 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 


That afternoon, Tillie and the teacher took a walk 
together in the snow-eovercd woods. 

"It all seems so extraordinarj', so inexplicable!" 
FairchiUla repeated over and over. Like all the rest 
of the household, he could not be reeonoiled to her 
goinfj. Ilis regret was, indeed, greater than that 
of any of the rest, and rather surprised himself. The 
pallor of Tillie 's face and the anguish in her eyes he 
attributed to the church discipline she was suffering. 
fie never dreamed how wholly and absolutely it was 
for him. 

"Is it any stranger," Tillie asked, her low voice 
full of pain, "than that your uncle should .send you 
iiway because of your inibelief?" This word, "un- 
belief," stooil for a very definite thing in New Ca- 
naan—a lost and hopeless condition of the soul. "It 
seems to me, the idea is the sam '," said Tillie. 

"Yes," acknowledged FaircliiKl.s, "of course you 
are right. Intolerance, bigotry, narrowness— they are 
the same the world over— and stand for ignorance 

Tillie silently consiilered his words. It had not oc- 
curred to her to (|uesti()n the perfect justice of the 
meeting's action. 

Suddenly she saw in the path before her a half- 
frozen, fluttering sparrow. They both paused, and 
Tillie stoo|)ed. gently took it up. and folded it in her 
warm shawl. .\s slie felt its throbbing little bocly 
against her hand, she thought of herself in the hand of 
(!od. She turned and spoke her thought to Faireliilds, 

"(j'ould I possibly hurt this little bird, which is so 


Tillie is "set back" 

entirely at my mercy 1 Could I judge it, condemn and 
I>unish it, for some mistake or wrong or wealcness it 
liad committed in its little world? And could God be 
less kind, less merciful to me than I couUl be to this 
little bird? Could he holil my soul in the hollow of his 
hand and vivisect it to judge whether its errors were 
worthy of his divine anger? He knows how weak 
and ignorant I am. I will not fear him," she said, 
her eyes shining. "I will trust myself in his power- 
and believe in his love." 

"The Xew Menmmitc creed won't hold her long," 
thought Fairehilds. 

"Our highest religious moments, Tillie," he said, 
"come to us, not through churches, nor even through 
Bibles. They are the moments when we are most re- 
ceptive of the message Nature is always patiently wait- 
ing to speak to us— if we will only hear. It is she 
alone that can lead us to see God fi>ee to face, instead 
of 'through another man's dim thought of him.' " 

"Yes," agreed Tillie, "I have often felt more- 
more nliyiuiis." she said, after an instant's hesitation, 
"when I 've been walking here alone in the woods, or 
down by the creek, or up on Chestnut Hill— than I 
eould feel in church. In church we hear ahniit God, 
as you say, through other men's dim thoughts of Ilim. 
Here, alone, we are ivilli him." 

They walked in silenw for a space, Tillie feeling 
with mingled and despair the fascination of this 
parting hour. Rut it did not occur to Faii'ehilds that 
her departure from the hotel meant the end of their 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 


"I shall come out to the farm to see you, Tillie, as 
often as you will let me. You know, I 've no one else 
to talk to, about here, as I talk with you. What a 
pleasure it has been ! ' ' 

"Oh, but father will never le— let me spend my time 
with you as I did at the hotel! He will be an^rry at 
my being sent home, and he will keep me constantly 
at work to make up for the loss it is t<i him. This is 
our last talk together! " 

"I '11 risk your father's wrath, Tillie. You don't 
suppose I 'd let a small matter like that stand in the 
way of our friendship ? ' ' 

"But father will not \ — let—TM' .spend time with 
,vou. And if you conu' when he told you not to he 
would put you out of William Penn!" 

"I 'm coming, all the same, Tillie." 

"Father will blame mt, if you do." 

"Can't you take your own part, Tillie?" he gravely 
asked. "No. no," he hastily added, for he did not 
forget the talk he had overheard about the new caps, 
in which Mr. Oetz had threatened personal violenci' 
I" his daughter. "I know yon must not suffer for my 
sake. Hut you cannot mean that we are not to meet 
at all lifter this?" 

"Only at chance times," faltei-rd Tillie; "that is 

Very siinplv and suincwliiit cunslrainedly tliey said 
good-by the next morning. Fiiiiehilds to go to his 
work at William I'eiiii and Tillie to drive out with her 
Uncle Abe to meet her fathir's displeasure. 




'i 'll marry him to-morrow!' 

MR. OETZ hiul plainly fiiven Absalom to imdi-r- 
staml tliat he did not want him to sit up uitli 
Tillic, as he "wasn't li-avinj.' her marry," Ahsaloni 
liad answered that he ^'uessed Tillie would have some- 
thin;; to say to that when slie was ■■.■ijihlrcn a 'ready." 
And on the first Sunday evening after her retui-n 
home he had boldly pre.sented himself at th.^ farm. 

"That 's where you '11 ^'et fooled, Absalom, fur 
she "s been rai,sed to mind her pop!" Mr. Cvt/. had 
i-esponded. ' • If she disobeyed to my word, I would n 't 
(five h.'r no aus styei' I / .11 would n'l marry a 
!,'irl wh*-re would n't brinj? you no aos styer!" 

Absalom, who was fru,ifal. had felt rather baffled at 
lliis threat. X.vrrtheless. hrre he was as.'ain on Suu- 
<lay evenin^r at thr farm to a.ssur,' Tilli<. that In woi.ld 
sland by her, and that if she was not restored to mem- 
b' r.ship in tlie meeting', he would n't |:five hijnself up, 

Mr, tielz dared not f;,, fo tl„. |,.„j,tli of fn]'l,id,li,i,; 
Absalom his house, for that would hav.. miant a fam- 
ily feud between all the (iet/es and all the I'untzos 
of fne county. He e<mld only insist that Tillir 'dLs- 
hearteu him," and that she dismis.s hinj not later than 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

ton o'clock. To almost any other youth in the ncigh- 
borhood, such opposilion would have proved cftec- 
tual. But every w\v obstacle seemed only to increase 
Abstilom's determination to have what he had set out 
to get. 

To-night he pro(lnce<l another book, which he said 
he had bought at the second-hand book-store in Lan- 

" 'Cupid and Psyche,' " Tillie rend the title. "Oil. 
Absalom, thank you. Thi; is lovely. It 's a story 
from Oreek mythology— I ve been hearing some of 
these stori<'S from the ti'acher"— she checked hersc'f. 
suddenly, at Atwalom's look of .jealous suspicion. 

"I 'm wonderful glad you ain't in there at th<' 
/lOtel no more," he said. "I had n't no fair chaneet, 
with Teacher right there on the grounds. " 

"Absalom." said Tillie, gravely, with a little air of 
dignity that did not wholly fail to impress him, "I 
insist on it that you never speak of the teacher in 
that way in connection with me. Yon might as well 
speak of my marrying thi' County Superintendent! 
lie 'd be just as likely to ask me!" 

The county supi'rintendeul of pid)lie instruction 
was held in such awe that his name was scarcely men- 
tioned in an ordinary tone of voice. 

"As if there 's no difference from a teacher at 
William I'enn to the county superintendint ! You 
ain't that dumm. Tillie!" 

"The ditTerenee is that the teacher at William I'enn 
is superior in every way to the county superinten- 

"I '11 marry him to-morrow!" 

She spnko impulsively, and she regretted her words 
the moment they wi-ie uttered. But Absalom only 
half comprehended her meaning. 

"You think y(}u ain't trood enough fur him, and 
,v(iu think I ain't prnod enough fur //oh.'" he grum- 
liled. "I have never saw sneh a funny girl ! Well," 
he nodded confidently, "you 'II think different one of 
lliese here days!" 

"You must not cherish any false hopes, Absalom," 
Tillie insisted in .some distress. 

"Well, fur why don't you want to have me?" he 
demanded for the hundredth time. 

"Absalom,"— Tillie tried a new mo<le of di.scouraRC- 
ment,— "I don't want to get married because I don't 
want to be a farmer's wife— they have to work too 
hard !" 

It was enough to drive away any lover in the 
pountryside, and for a moment Absalom was stag- 

"Well!" he e.xe!aimed, "a woman that 's afraid of 
work am't no wife for me. anyways!" 

Tillie's heart leaped high for an instant in th.' hope 
that now she had eff.>etnally cooled bis ardor. But 
it sank again as .she recalled the necessity of retaininir 
at least his good-will anc! friendsbij), that she might 
protect the teacher. 

■" Xow, Absalom," she f,,-bly prof,'irf«l, " did you 
''ver see me afraid nf work?" 

"Well, then, if yon ain't afraid of workin'. what 
makes you talk so contrary'" 

I don't know. Come, kt in. read this nice b<-"k 



Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

you 'vc brought m.'," she urRctl. much as she might 
liave tried to divert one of lier little sisters or bro- 

"I 'd ruther just set. I ain't imu'li fur readiii". 
Jake Getz he says he 's tioin' to chase you t.i bed at 
tpn_and ten comes wonderful soon Sunda.vs. Li'ave 
us .iust set." 

Tillie well understood that this was to endure Ab- 
salom's elownish wooing. Hut for the sake of the 
cause, she said to herself, she wouhl eoixiuer her 
repugnance and bear it. 

For two weeks after Tillie's return home, she did 
not once have a word alone with Fairchilds. He came 
several times, ostensibly on errands from her aunt : 
hut on each occasion he found her hard at work in 
her father's presence. At his first vi.sit. Tillie. as 
he was leaving, row from her corn-luisking in the 
harn to go with him to the gate, but her father in- 

"Vou stay where .v<m "re at!" 

With luirning face, she turned to her work. And 
Fairchilds. carefully suppressing an impulse to shake 
.lake tietz till his tn'th rattled, walked ipiietly out of 
Ihi' gate an<l up tfce road. 

Her father was more than usually stern and ex- 
act ini.' with lii'r in these days of her suspension from 
meetin;-'. inasmuch as it involved her dismissal frcMu 
till' licitrl and the conseipient loss to him of two dollars 
a week. 

As for Tillie, she found a faint consolation in the 
I'.ict of the teacher's evident cha^'rin and iiuligna- 


"I il marry him to-morrow!" 

tion at the tyrannical rule wliieh forbade intercourse 
between them. 

At stated intervals, the brethren came to reason 
with her, but while she expressed her willinitness 
f(> put her curls back, she would not acknowledge 
that her heart was no longer '•carnal and vain," and 
s)i thi-y found it impossible to restore her to favor. 

A few weeks before Christmas, Absalom, decidinp 
that h- had imbibed all the arithmetical I'rudition he 
cimiid hold, stopped school. On the evenin>; that he 
Inot his Ixioks hoiiic, he (rave the teacher a parting 
lilow. which he felt sure quite avenged the outraRCous 
ilefeat he ha<l -suffered at his hands on that Sunday 
night at the h< 

"iie and Tillie 's promised. It ain't put out yet, 
but I conceited I 'd better tell you. so 's you 
wimld n't l)e wastin' your time tryin' to make up to 

"You and Tillie are engaged to be married?" Fair- 
childs mcredxilously asked. 

That 's what ! As good as, anyways. I always 
get st.nwpin I want when I make up my mind onci'f." 
Anil 111- grinmed miilicinusly. 

Paircfiilds pondered the matter as, with ilepresseil 
spirits, lif walked home over the frozen road. 

"Xo wonder the poor girl yielded to the pressure 
of such an environment." he roused. "I .suppi'se she 
iliinks Al>saloio's rule will not be sii bad as her 
filth, r's, ISiit that a gii-l like Tillie should be pushed 
til the wall like that — it is horrible! And yet~if 
she were worthy a better fate would she not have held 


Tillie: A Mcnnonite Maid 

out !— it is too bad, it is unjust to her 'Miss MurKuret' 
that she sIkiuIcI give up now! I foel," he sadly told 
himself, "disappointed in Tillie!" 

When the notable "Columbus Celebration" came off 
in New Can.:; i;, in which event several schools of the 
township 1 II (ed to participate, and which was at- 
tended by I'le entire countryside, as if it were a fu- 
neral, Tilhe hoped that here would be an opportu- 
nity for seeing and speakinj; with Walter Fairehilds. 
But in this she was bitterly disappointed. 

It was not until a week later, at tlie township Insti- 
tute, which met at New Canaan, and which was also 
attended by the entire population, that her deep desire 
was gratified. 

It was durinR the reading of an address, bi'fore the 
Institute, by Miss Spooner, the teacher at East Done- 
gal, that Fairehilds deliberately came and sat by Til- 
lie in the back of the school-room. 

Tillie 's heart beat fast, and she found herself doubt- 
ing the reality of his precious nearness after the long. 
dreary days of hungering for him. 

She dared not speak to him while Miss Spooner 
held forth, and, indeed, she feared even to look at 
him, lest curious eyes read in her face what con- 
sciously she strove to ccmceal. 

She realized his restless impatience under Miss 
Spooner 's ehxiuenee. 

"It was a week back already, we had our t'oiumbus 
Celebration," read this educator of Lancaster County, 
genteelly curving the little finger of each hand, as she 

'I '11 



him to-morrow!' 

held her address, wlik'h was I'sthclically tied with bliio 
ribbon. "It was an inspiring sijiht to see those one 
liundred entbusiiistie and piilerniie ehildren inarebinK 
two by two, led by their equally enllnisiastie and pat- 
erotic teachers! Fonninj; a semicircle in tlie open air, 
the exercises were opened l)y a sonj!, '() niy Cimntry,' 
sunj: by clear— r-r-rintrin'^' — ehihlisii voices. . . ." 

It was the last item on the projirani. and by mu- 
tual ■ :rd\ silent consent, Tillie and Kaireliilds. at the 
tirst stir of the audience, slipped out of the school- 
house tojietlicr. Tillie's father was in tlii' audience, 
and so was Absalom. Hut they had sat far forward, 
and Tillie hoped they had not seen her j^o out with the 

"Let us hurry over to the woods, where we can be 
alone and undisturbed, and have a good talk!" pro- 
posed Fairehilds, his face showins; the pleasure he f<'lt 
in the meeting. 

After a few minutes' hurried walkins, they were 
able to .slacken their pace and stroll leisurely throuf.'li 
the bleak winter forest. 

"Tillie. Tilliel" he said, "why won't you abandon 
this 'carnal' life yo\i are leadinj;, be nstoreil to the 
approbation of the brethren, and come back to the 
hotel? I am very lonely without you." 

Tillie could scarcely find her voici' to answer, for 
the .joy that filled lier at his words— a .joy so full that 
she felt but a very faint paot; at liis reference to \hr 
ban under which she suffen'd. .She ha<l thoui-dit his 
failure to speak to her at the "relebration" had in- 
dicated indilierence or forv:et fulness. But now that 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

wns nil Jorgottcn; every nerve in lier body quivered 
with happiness. 

He, however, fit onee interpreted her silenee to meiui 
thiit he hud wounded her. "Forgive me for speakiiij; 
so lijihtly of what to you must be a snered and serious 
mattiT. liod Itnows, my own experience— whieh. :is 
you say, was not unlike your own — was suffieieiiliy 
serious to me. Kut somehow, I can't take this seri- 
ously—this nuitter of your pretty curls!" 

"Sometimes I wonder whether you take any per- 
son or any tbinj;. here, si'riously," she half smiled. 
"You seem to me to be always mockinjr at us a little." 

"iMockinn? Not so bad as that. And never at j/OM, 

"You were sneerinir at Spiuiner, were n't 

"Not at her; at Christopher Columbus— though, up 
to the time of that celebration, I was always rather 
fond of the discoverer of America. But now let 
us talk of you, Tillie. Allow me to congratulate 
you ! ' ' 

"What for?" 

"True enough. I stand corrected. Then accept 
my sincere sympathy."' He smiled whimsically. 

Tillie lifted lier eyes to his face, and their pretty 
look of bewii'lennent made him Ions; to stoop and 
snatch a k^-is from her lips. Hut he resisted the 

"I refer to your enfjaRement to Absalom. That 's 
one reason why I wanted you to come out here with 
Die this afterno<m — so that you could tell me about it 


"I '11 marry him to-morrow!" 

— iitui explain to nic wlial iiiadi' y<m (iivc up all your 
piiiiis. Wlint will your MisK .Mnrnarct sayj" 

Tillic stopped nIioH, lur elieeks reddeuinK. 

"What nutltes you think I am priiiiii»ed to Absii- 

"The fact is, I 've only his word for it." 

"He told you that?" 

"Certainly. Is n't it true?" 

"Do you think so poorly of nie?" Tillie asked in 
a low voice. 

He looked at her iniickly. "Tillie. T 'iii sorry; I 
oudht not to have believed it for an instant!" 

"I have a hifiher iiiiiliition in life than to settle 
down to take care of .Vl)sal<ini I'linl/!" said Tillie. 
fire in her soft eyes, and an unwonted vibration in 
her (jentle voice. 

"My ereihility was an insult to you!" 

"Absalom did not mean to tell you a lie. He has 
made up his mind to have me. so he thinks it is all as 
(food as settled. .Sometimes I am almost afraid lie 
will win me .just by thinking he is poing to." 

"Send him about his business! Don't keep up this 
folly, dear child !" 

"I would rather stand Absalom." .she faltered, 
"than stand having you \zo away." 

"But. Tillie." he turned almost fiercely upon her 
"Tillie. I would rather see you dead at m.v feet thiiii 
to see your soul tied to that clod of earth I" 

A wild thrill of rapture shot through Tillie 's heart 
at his words. For an instant she looked up at him. 
her soul shiuing in her eyes. "Does he— does he — 





1655 Eq::1 Mo.n Street 
Rocheatef, Ne* ''of'" '** 
(716) *82 - 0300 - Pnone 
(716) 288- 5989 - Fa. 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

J:, i 

»!-! ■ 

care that much what happens to me?" throbbed in 
her brain. 

For the first time Fairchilds fully realized, with 
shame at his blind selfishness, the danger and the 
cruelty of his intimate friendship with this little 
Mennonite maid. For her it could but end in a heart- 
break; for him— "I have been a cad, a despicable 
ead!" he told himself in bitter self-reproaeh. "If I 
had only known! But now it 's too late— unless— " 
In his mind he rapidly went over the simple history 
of their friendship as they walked alons; and, busy 
with her own thought, Tillie did not notice his ab- 

"Tillie," he said suddenly. "Next Saturday there 
is an examination of applicants for certificates at 
East Donegal. You must take that examination. 
You are perfectly well prepared to pass it." 

"Oh, do you really, really think I am?" the girl 
cried breathlessly. 

"I know it. The only question is, How are you 
going to get off to attend the examination?" 

"Father will be at the Lancaster market on Satur- 
day morning!" 

"Then I '11 hire a buggy, come out to the farm, and 
carry you off ! " 

"No— oh, no, you must not do that. Father would 
be so angry with you!" 

"You can't walk to East Donegal. It 's six miles 

"Let me think.— Uncle Abe would do anything I 
asked him— but he would n't have time to leave the 

- f 

''I '11 marry him to-morrow!" 

hotel Saturday morning. And I culd n't make him 
or Aunty Em understand that I was .-dueatod omnvh 
to take the examination. IJut there s the Doc'" " 

"Of course!" cried Fairchild.s. "The Doe is n't 
afraid of the whole county! Shall I tell him you '11 
go if he '11 come for you?" 


),e''n''^'^L^ '"undertake to promise for him uiat 
he 11 be there!" 

"When father comes home from market and finds 
me gone!'' Tillie .said-but there was exultation, ra- 
tiler than tear, in her voice. 

"When you show him your certificate, w.,n't that 
appease him? When he realizes how much more you 
can earn by teaching than by working for your aunt 
especially as he bore none of the expeii.s,. „f givin- 
you your edu.n^;on? It was your own hard labor" 
and none of his money, that did it ! And now I .,„„. 
pose he 11 get all the profit of it!" Pairehilds c.mld 
not quite keep down the rising -dignation in his 

"No," said Tillie, quietly, though the color burned 
in her face. "Walter! I 'm going to refuse to give 
father my salary if I am elected to a school. I mean 
to save my money to go to the Normal-where Jliss 
Margaret is. ' ' 

"^^■I""^,,''' ^^ "« """^^ age, he can take it from 
you, Tilhe." 

"If the school I teach is near enough for me to live 
at home, I 11 pay my board. More than that I won't 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

I" <' 

"But lunv iiic you (loiiifr to help yourself!" 

"I have n't made up my mind, yet, how I 'm gcjitf 
to do it. It will be the hardest stru,i.'i;le I 've ever 
had— to stand out afiainst him in sueh a thint; " Til- 
lie continued; "but I will not be weak, I will not! I 
liave studied and worked all these yeais in the hope 
of a year at the Normal— with Miss Mari^taret. And 
I won't falter now!" 

Before he eoidd reply to her almost impassioned 
earnestness, they were startled by the sound of 
footsteps behind them in the woods— the heavy 
steps of men. Involuntarily, they both stopped 
short, Tillie with the feelini; of (me eausiht in a 
stolen delifibt; and Fairchilds with minfiled annoy- 
ance at the interrupticm, and curiosity as to who 
miftht be wandering in this iinfrecpiented patch of 

"I seen 'em go out up in here!" 

It was the voice of Absalom. The answer came in 
the harsh, indignant tones of Mr. Gctz. "Next time 
I leave her go to a Instytoot or such a Colund)us 
Sallybration. she 'II .stay at h-jmc! Wastin' time 
walkin' 'round in the woods with that dude teacher! 
—and on a week-day, too!" 

Tillie looked up at Fairchilds with an appeal that 
went to his heart. Grimly he waited .for the two. 

"So here 's where you are!" crie<l Mr. fletz, strid- 
ing up to them. and. before Fairchilds e(mld prevent 
it, he had seized Tillie by the shoulder. "What you 
mean, runnin' off up here, heh ? What you mean?" 
he demanded, shaking her with all his cruel strength. 

"I '11 marry him to-morrow!" 

"Stop that, ymi brut<'!" p^iircliilds, unalili' to oiiii- 
tnil his fury, drew back and struck the hi;; inau 
s(iuarcly on the chest. Gotz staimcred hack, aniaze- 
luent it this unlooked-for attack for a nionient !;et- 
tinK the better of his indijination. lie liad expected 
to find tlie teacher cowed witli fear at beill^' dis- 
covered by a director and a director's son in a situ- 
ation displeasing; to them. 

"Let the child alone, you sjreat coward— or I '11 
horsewhip you!" 

Cetz recovered himself. His faei' was black with 
passion. He lifted the iKjrsewlii)) which he carried. 

"You 'II horsewhip me— nie. .laki' Oetz, that can 
pnt you off William I'enn lo-morrow if I want ! Will 
you do it with this here.'" he demanded. nra.spinir 
the whip more tifihtly and liftini.' it to strike— hut 
before it could descend, Fairchilds wrenched it out of 
his hand. 

"Yes," he responded, "if you dare to touch that 
child again, you shameless do;;!" 

Tillie, with anguished eyes, stood motionless as 
marble, while Absalom, with cleuched fists, awaited liis 

"If I dare!" roared Getz. "If I have dare to 
touch my own child!" He turned to Tillie. "Come 
alonfj," he exclaimed, civinfr her a cuff with his sii-.'iit 
paw; and instantly the whip came down with stin;;- 
ini; swiftness on his wrist. With a bellow of pain, 
(ietz turned on Fairchilds, and at the same moment. 
Absalom sprang on him from behind, and with one 
blow of his brawny arm brought the teacher to the 




M: . 

Tillie: A Mennonitc Maid 

ground. Getz sprawlcil (jvcr liis fallen antagonist and 
snatch('<l his wliip from him. 

"Come on, Al)salom— we 'II learn him oneet!" he 
pried fiereely. "We 'II learn him what horsewhip- 
pin' is! We 'II jiive him a li(^l;in' he won't forjiet!" 

Absalom Inufihed aloud in his deli^'ht iit this ehanee 
to avcn!,'e his own defeat at thi' hands of the teaeher, 
and with clumsy speed the two men set about hindini,' 
the feet of the half-senseless Fairchilds with Ab- 
salom 's snspenders. 

Tillie felt herself spellbound, powerless to move or 
to cry out. 

"Xowi" pried Getz to Absalom, "git back, and 
I '11 {live it to him!" 

The teaelier, .'itripped of his two coats and bound 
liand and foot, was rolled (jver on his face. lie ut- 
tei'ed no word of protest, though they all saw that he 
had recovered consciousness. The truth was, lip sim- 
ply recofinized the uselessness of demurrinpr. 

"Warm him up, so he d(m't take cold!" shouted 
Absalom— and even as he spoke, Jake Oetz's heavy 
arm brouf;ht*the lash down upon Fairchilds's back. 

At the spiti'ful sound, life came back to Tillie. Like 
a wild thini;, she spraii;,' between them, seized her fa- 
ther's arm and hung upon it. "Listen to me! Lis- 
ten! Father! If you strike him again, / 'II nuirrij 
Absalom to-morrow!" 

By inspiration she had hit upon the one argument 
that would move him. 

Her father tried to shake her off, ' ut she clung to 
his arm with the strength of madness, knowing that if 

"I '11 marry him to-morrow!" 

slic (■ouki iiiiiki- liiiii firasp, cvi'ii in his |>;issi.iii,ili' 
inigvr, the real iniixji-t uf )icr tlircat. W wimld yidil 
to her. 

"I 'II iiiurry Absaliim ! I "11 marry him lo-mor- 
niw !" she n-pcatcd. 

"Vim ilarseiit— vdii ain't (if aj.'i'l Let !ii) my arm, 
iir I 'II slap ydu an'in !" 

"I shall hi' of as;i' in tlircc' m(rnths! [ 'II marry 
Absalom if ycjii •;(] on with this!" 

"That suits mt'!" crioil Absalom. "Keep ou witli 
it, Jako!" 

"If you do, I 'II marry liim to-i:iorrosv !" 

There was a look in Tillie's eyes and a rin^' in her 
voice tliat her falh.>r had learned to know. Tillie 
would do what she said. 

And here was Absalom "sidinjr alcinjr with her" 
in her unfilial detianeo ! Jaeob (!etz wavered. He saw 
no frraeeful esoape from liis difficulty. 

" Look-ahei c, Tillie! If I d(m't lick this here fel- 
ler, I '11 punish jjoit when I fret y(m home!" 

Tillie saw that she had coiiMUered him, and that 
the teacher was safe. She loo.sed her hold of her fa- 
ther's arm and, droppini; on her knees beside Fair'- 
ehilds, befran (juickly to loosen his 1: -nds. Her father 
did not check her. 

"Jake fJetz, you ain't givin' in tliat easy?" de- 
manded Absalom, angrily. 

"She 'd up and do what she says! I know her! 
And I ain't leavin' her marry! Ycju .just wait"— he 
turned threateningly to Tillie as she knelt on the 
ground— "till I get you home oneet!" 





■k ;' 
Nil ' 

:■■'. i ' 

Tillie: A Mcnnonite Maid 

Pairchilds staifKorptl to his fei-t, atul Urawinjf Tillie 
up from the ground, he hold her two hands in his as he 
turned to c i front his enemies. 

"You call yourselves men— you cowards and bul- 
lies! And you!" he turned his blazinj; (yes upon 
Getz, "you would work off your miserabli .:pite on 
a weak girl— who can't defend herself! Dare to 
touch a hair of her head and I '11 break yoir damned 
head and every bone in your body ! Now take your- 
selves off, both of y(!u, you curs, and leave us alone!" 
"My girl goes home along with me!" reported the 
furious Oetz. 'And you- you '11 lose your job at next 
Board Meetin', Saturday night ! So yr)u might as well 
pack your trunk ! Here!" He laid his hanl on Tillie 's 
arm, but Fairehilds drew her to him and held his 
irm about her waist, while Absalom, darkly scowling, 
stood uncertainly by. 

"Leave her with me. I must talk with her. Must, 
I say. Do you hear me? She—" 

His words died on his lips, as Tillie 's head suddenly 
fell forward on his shoulder, and, looking down, Pair- 
childs saw that she had fainted. 

I'i ■ i 






"QO you sec I 'm thrf.nRh with this place!" Pair- 
O childs concluded iis, late that night, he and the 
doctor sat alone in the sitting-room, discussing the 
afternoon's happenings. 

"I was forced to believe," he went on, "when I 
.law Jake Getz's fearful anxiety and real distress while 
Tillie remained unconscious, that the fellow, after 
all, does have a heart of Hesh under all his brutality, 
lie had never seen a woman faint, >\nd he thought 
at fi that Tillie was dead. We almost had him on 
our liands unconscious!" 

"Well, the faintin' saved Tillie a row with him till 
he got her home oncet a 'ready," the doctor said, as 
he puffed away at his pipe, his hands in his vest 
arms, his feet on the table, and a newspaper under 
them to spare the chenille table-cover. 

"Yes. Otherwise I don't know how I could have 
borne to see her taken by that ruffian— to be 
punished for so heroically defending me!" 

"You bet! That took cheek, ain't? -fur that lit- 
tle girl to stand there ano jaw Jake Getz— and make 
him quit lickin' you! By gum, that minds me of 
sceneries I 've saw a 'ready in the theayter! They 

Tillic: A Mcnnonitc Maid 

most kiiiit'I.v fiiiiilH iiwuy ill » swdciid Ihiil wii.v, tdo. 
Well, Tillic she ciiiiie rouml all i-i(,'lil, ain't / — till u 
little wliilcV" 

"yes. Hut sh.' was very pale and weak, pi.or 
child I" Paiicliilds atiswerrd, resting liLs liead wearily 
upon his pHliii. "Wlien she beeaine eM,isei,)iis, (i,U 
carried her mif of th.' woods to his biif,'(.'y that he liad 
left near the sehdiil-liniise," 

"How did Ahsaloin take it, anyhow?" 

"lie 's rather dazed, I think! He (h)es n't ((uile 
know how to make it all nut. I|,. is » man of one 
idea— one at a time and far apart. His idea at pres- 
ent is that he is jidinj; to ii;arry Tillie." 

"Ves, and I never seen a I'unt/ y,"t wheri' did n't 
come by what he set his stubborn head to!" the doc- 
tor commented. "It wonders me sometime.s, how 
Tillie 's goin' to keep from iiiarryin' him, now he 's 
mad.- up liis mind so firm !" 

"Tillie knows her own worth t(jo well to tlirow her- 
self away like that." 

"Well, now I don't know," said the doctor, doubt- 
fully. "To bo sure, I never liked them I'untzes, 
they 're so damned thick-headed. Dummness run.s 
in that family so, it 's somepin' surprisin'! Dumm- 
ness and stubbornness is all they f;ot to 'em. Uiit 
Absalom he 's so well fi.xed-Tillie she nii^'ht uu fur- 
der and do worse. \ow there 's you. Teacher. If 
she took up with you and yous two <;ot married, you ',1 
have to rent. Absalom he 'd own his own farm." 

"Now, come. Doc," protested Fairehilds, dis- 
gusted, "you know bettcr-you know that to almost 

The Doc concocts a plot 

any s„vl „r ,. «■„,„„» ,„,„.,.i.,' ,„s .so„„.||,i„,, ,„„,,. 

lmn«,.n,n.^l„.,-.s,.|r'w,Hlix,.,|.'„,s.v„„p,„i,. Ami 
tip a Wdiiiiiii likr 'I'illii'!" 

;'V"s- .v.,s 1 u„,.ss." ,n Mv,.,v,| ll„. ,|,„.t,„, ,,„||i„. 

•™k!y,„ MS ,.,,,„. .,. , ,i„. s.,„, wi,i, „ L,„: 

"• """"'>• l""!^" '" ■^"■"■Pir, l„.„|..s „ «,„„| , „,. 

kn.p.T. Tlhiv •«,„...„..«- r M Imv,. |„„|< Mi,, M,,,. 
;'";"':' ■''' "I'l "■' ""rk tinthi,,'. I ,„|,. i,„, 

I .Ion t ,„i,„| ir ,„,v wir,./.v s,„aM, so s l,m', l,„.l„.,. 

llic iiiiy. 

' V,m ,li,|, ,|i,i y„uj.. „„i,,,,, ,..,,i,,.,,j|,|^ ,^ ^ 
Whnt (li<l the liKlysjy to tliiit'" 

"Oeli, she wiis soi-n- !" 

"Sorry f„ turn y(,n (l(,wi 1„ von Mi,>aii7" 

"It was l„r,n,.s,. [ ,|i,| „ ', s,„,,|; «»„, ,.no„f;h," th,. 

<Ioctor .,ssur,..l l,i,„. ..,si„. «;,s pn,n,i.s,..l n'. .Iv „, 

.mo of .l„.s,. liMr,. tony ,„.rtVss,.rs a. f V,,,.',,,,,) 
Su. was sorry I l.a.l nt sp„k,. soon,,-. ',. |„. s„r,.' 

>. t,.r sl„. ha.l ,Mv. 1,,,. ,v„r,l, sl„. lm,l t„ sli,.k tn it " 
iro thouch.tMlly k„ook,.,| tl,o asl„.s fron, l,is pip,, 
win,. l„s ,.y,.s ,.,.,.»■ al.nost t,.n,l,.r. "SI,., was c'.r- 
lanily, now, .-m allnrin' f(.inal(. ' 

".So now," l„. a,l,l,.:l, af,,.r a mo„„.„fs thnn.'htfnl 
Pnuso, "you think your ,auu. 's play,.,l out l„.r,., 

"V.rU nn.l Ahsal.m, l,.ft „,. with tho assuranno that 
.'t (I.c> .Satur,lay-ni-ht n„.,.ti„^, „f ,i„. ,5„,„,,| , y^ , 
voto.l out^ If it ,|,.p„n,,s on th,>n,-a„,I I 

over a slow tiro ! ' 

"You bet they would!" 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

"I suppose I have n't the least chance?" 
"Well, I don' know-I don' know. It would suit 
me wonderful to set ahead of Jake Getz and theui 
Puntzes in this here thinf;-if I anyways could ! Le' 
me sec." He thoughtfully eonsideni the situation. 
"The Board meets day after to-morrow. There 's 
six directors. Nathaniel Puntz and Jake can easy 
get 'cm a", to wote to put you out, fur they ain't 
anyways stuck on you-you bein' so tony that way. 
Now me, I don't mind it-them things don't never 
bother me any— manners and cleanness and them." 

"Och, yes; us we never seen any person where 
wasted so much time wa.'Mn' theirself— except Miss 
Margaret. I mind missus used to say a clean towel 
did n't last Miss Margaret a week, and no one else 
usin' it ! You sec, what the directors don't like is your 
always havin' your hands so clean. Nc'v they reason 
this here way-a person that never has dirty hands 
is lazy and too tony." 

"But me, I don't mind. And I 'm swanged if I 
would n't like to beat out Jake and Nathaniel on this 
here deal! Say! I 'II tell you what. This here 
game 's got fun in it fur me! I believe I got a way 
of doin' them fellers. I ain't tellin' you what it is'" 
he said, with a chuckle. "But it 's a way that 's goin' 
to work! I 'm swanged if it ain't! You '11 see 
oncet! You just let this here thing to me and you 
won't be chased off your .job! I 'm doin' it fur 
the sake of the fun I '11 get out of seein' Jake Getz 

The Doc concocts a plot 

surprised! Mcbbe that old Dutchman won't be won- 
derful spited!" 

"I shall be very much indebted to you, doctor, if 
you can help me, as it suits me to stay here for the 

"That 's all right. Pur one, there 's Adam Ober- 
holzer; he '11 be an easy puy when it comes to his 
wote. Fur if I want, I can brinft a bill ajr'in ' the estate 
of h:s pop, disceased, and make it 'most anything His 
pop :.e died last month. Now that there was a man "- 
the doctor settled himself comfortably, preparatory 
to the relation of a tale-"that there was a man that 
was so wonderful set on speculatin' and savin' and 
layin' by, that when he come to die a pecooliar thin- 
happened. You might call that there thing phe-non"- 
e-ma. It was this here way. When ole Adam Ober- 
holzer (he was named after his son, Adam Oberholzer 
the school directer) come to oie, his wife she thought 
she 'd better send fur the Evangelical preacher over, 
seem' as Adam he had n't been inside a church fur 
twenty years back, and, to be sure, he was n't just 
.so well prepared. Oh, well, he was deef fur three 
years back, and churches don't do much good to deef 
people. But then he never did go when he did have 
his sound hearin'. Many 's the time he sayed to me, 
he sayed, 'I don't believe in the churches,' he sayed.' 
'and blamed if it don't keep me believin' in a 
Gawd!' he sayed. So you see, he was n't just what 
you might call a pillar of the church. One time he 
had such a cough and he come to me and sayed 
whether I could do somepin. 'You 're to leave to- 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

baceo be,' I sayed. Ole Adam he looked serious. 'If 
you sayed it was caused by soin' to church,' he an- 
svered to me, 'I mi^'ht raebbe break o{{. But tobacco 
—that 's some serious,' he says. Adam he used to 
have some notions about the Bible and religion that I 
did think, now, was damned unushal. Here one day 
when he was first took sick, before he got so deef yet, 
I went to see him, and the Evangelical preacher was 
there, readin' to him that there piece of Scripture 
where, you know, them that worked a short time was 
paid the same as them that worked all day. The 
preacher he sayed he tliought that par'ble might 
fetch him 'round oncet to a death-bed conwersion. 
But I 'm swanged if Adam did n't just up and say, 
when the preacher got through, he says, 'That was n't 
a square deal accordin' to my way of lookin' at 
things. ' Yes, that 's the way that there feller talked. 
Why, here oncet—" the doctor paused to chuckle 
at the recollection- "when I got there, Reverend was 
wrestlin' with Adam to get hisself conwerted, and 
it was one of Adam's days when he was at his deefest. 
Reverend he shouted in liis ear, 'You must expe- 
rience religion— and get a change of heart— and be 
conwerted before you die ! ' ' What d ' you say ? ' Adam 
he ast. Then Reverend, he seen that would n't work, 
so he cut it short, and he says wery loud, 'Trust 
the Lord ! ' Xow, ole Adam Oberholzer in his business 
dealin's and speculatin' was always darned particular 
who he trusted, still, so he looked up at Reverend, 
and he says, 'Is he a reliable party?' Well, by gum, 
I bu 'st right out laughin ' ! I had n 't ought to— seein ' 

The Doc concocts a plot 

it was Ailam's dciitli-bi'd— and Rovcrond liim just 
sweatin' with ti-yin' to work in his job fo <;ct him cnn- 
werted till he passed away a'l'cady. But I 'm 
swans;ed if I could kwp in! I just lioUcnd!" 

The doctor throw hack his head and shouted with 
fresh appreciation of his story, and Fairchilds joined 
in sympathetically. 

"Well, did he die unconverted?" he asked the 

"You bet! Reverend he sayed afterwards, that in 
all his practice of his sacred eallinir he never had 
knew such a carnal death-bed. \ow you see," con- 
cluded the doctor, "I tended ole Adam fur near two 
months, and that 's where I have a hold on his son the 
school-directer. ' ' 

lie lausihcd as he rose and stretched himself. 

"It will be no end of sport foiling' Jake Getz!" 
Fairchilds said, with but a vaprue idea of what the 
doctor's sehenie involved. "Well, doctor, yon are our 
mascot— Tillies and mine !" he added, as he, too, rose. 

"What 's ihat?" 

"Our flood luck." Tie held out an objectionably 
clean hand with it.s .shiniufr finger-nails, "(iood ni^hf, 
Doe, and thank you !" 

The doctor awkwardly shook it in his own firimy 
fist. "Good nis-'ht to ycui. then. Teacher." 

Out in the bar-room, as the doctor took his nightly 
glass of beer at the counter, he confided to Abe 
Wackernagel that somehow he did, now, "like to see 
Teacher use them manners of hisn. I 'ni 'most as 
stuck on 'em as missus is!" he declared. 


.ill 1 



m\ ij 

jifT I. 



TILLIE'S unhappineas, in her cortainty that on 
Saturday night the Board would vote for the 
eviction of the teacher, was so great tliat she felt 
almost indifferent to her own fate, as she and the 
doctor started on their six-mile ride to East Done- 
gal. But when he presently confided to her his 
scheme to foil her father and Absalom, she became 
almost hysterical with joy. 

"You see, Tillie, it 's this here way. Two of these 
here directers owes me bills. Now in drivin' you over 
to East Donegal I 'm passin' near to the farms of 
both of them directers, and I '11 make it suit to stop 
off and press 'em fur my money. They 're both of 
'em near as close as Jake Getz ! They don't like it fur 
me to press 'em to pay right aways. So after while 
I 'II say that if they wote ag'in' Jake and Nathaniel 
and each of 'cm gets one of the other two directers 
to wote with him to leave Teacher keep his job, I '11 
throw 'em the doctor's bill off! Adam Oberholzer 
he owes me about twelve dollars, and Joseph Ketter- 
ing he owes me ten. I guess it ain't worth twelve 
dollars to Adam and ten to Joseph to run Teacher 
off William Penn!" 


Sunshine and shadow 

"And do you suppose tliiit tlioy will he able to in- 
flufnce the other two— John Coppenhnver and Pete 
t Jnderwoeht ? ' ' 

"When all them dollars depends on it. I don't sup- 
pose nothin'— I know. I '11 put it this here way: 
'If Teacher ain't ehased off, I 'II throw you my doe- 
tor's bill oft'. If he is, you 'II pay me up, and 
pretty damned (piiek, too!' " 
"But, Doc," faltered Tillie. "won't it Be bribery?" 
"Oeh, Tillie, a body must n't feei so conscicntiou.3 
about such little things like them. That 's bein' too 
serious. ' ' 

"Did you tell the teacher you were going to do 
this?" she uneasily asked. 

"Well, I guess I ain't such a blamed fool ! I guess 
I know that inuch, that he would n't of saw it the way 
/ see it. I tole him I was goin' to bully them diree- 
ters to keep him in his job— but he don't know how 
I 'm doin' it." 

"I 'm glad he does n't know," sighed Tillie. 
"Yes, he darsent know till it 's all over oncet." 
The joy and relief she felt at the doctor's scheme, 
which she was quite sure would work out successfully, 
gave her a self-confidence in the ordeal before her 
that sharpened her wits almost to brilliancy. She 
sailed through this examination, which otherwise she 
would have dreaded unspeakably, with an aplomb 
that made her " stranger to herself. Even that 
bugbear of the examination labeled by the superin- 
tendent, "General Information," and regarded with 
suspicion by the applicants as a snare and a delu- 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 



sion, did not confound I'illie in her sudden and new- 
found eourii'te; though the ciiiestions under this head 
brous?ht forth from the iipplieants sucli astonishing 
statements as that Henry VIII was ehietly noted for 
lieinf; "a great widower"; and that the Mother of the 
(Iracehi was "probably Mrs. (iracehi." 

In her unwonted ehition. Tillie even waxed a bit 
witty, and in the ifuiz on "Metliods of Discipline," she 
fiave an answer which no doubt led the superintendent 
to mark her hifih. 

"What method would you pursue with a boy in 
your school who was addicted to swearing;'/" she was 

"I suppose I should make him swear off!" said Til- 
lie, with actual flippancy. 

A neat youn-; woman of the class, sitting directly 
in front of the superintendent, and wearing specta- 
cles and very straight, tight hair, cast a shocked 
and reproachful look upon Tillie, and turning to 
the examiner, said primly, ' / would organize 
an anti-swearing society in the school, and reward 
the boys who were not profane by making them 
members of it, expelling those who used any profane 

"And make every normal boy turn blasphemer in 
derision, I 'm afraid," was the superintendent's iron- 
ical comment. 

When, at four o'clock that afternoon, she drove back 
with the doctor through the winter twilight, hearing 
her precious certificate in her bosom, the brightness 
of her face seemed to reflect the brilliancy of the red 


Sunshine and shadow 

sunset ftlow ou snow-covered fields, frozen creek, and 
fanii-house windows. 

"Bully fur yuu, Matilda!" the doctor kept repeat- 
ing; at intervals. "Xcnv won't .Miss Marjraret be 
tickled, thou^'h ! I tell you what, wirtue like hern 
j.'its its rewards even in this liere life. She '11 cer- 
tainly i)e set up to tliink she 's made a teacher out 
of you unbeknownst! And niebbe it won't tickle her 
wonderful to think how she 's beat Jake Oetz!" he 

"Of course you 're writin' to her to-night, Tillie, 
ain't you?" he asked. "I 'd write her off a letter 
myself if writin' come handier to nie. " 

"Of course I shall let her know at once," Tillie 
replied; ai .". in her voice, for the first time in the 
doctor's aeriuaintance with her, there was a touch of 
f;entle complacency. 

"I 'II get your letter out the tree-holler to-morrow 
morning, then, when I go a-past— and I can stamp 
it and mail it fur you till noon. Then she 'II get 
it till Monday morning yet ! By gum, won't she, now, 
be tickled!" 

"Is n't it all beautiful!" Tillie breathed ecstacti- 
cally. "I 've got my certificate and the teacher won't 
be put out ! What did Adam Oberholzer and Joseph 
Kettering say. Doc?" 

"I 'vc got them fixed all right! Just you wait, 
Tillie!" he said mysteriously. "Mebbe us we ain't 
goin' to have the la\igh on your pop and old 
Nathaniel Puntz ! You '11 see ! Wait till your pop 
comes home and says what 's happened at Board 



li^:' \ 

I b . i 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

Golly! Won't he be hoppin' 

mectin' to-night! 

"What is Koing to happen, Doe?" 
"You wait and see ! I ain't tellin' even you, Tillie. 
I 'm savin ' it fur a surprise party fur all of yous ! " 

"Father won't speak to me about it, you know. 
He won't mention Teacher's name to me." 

"Then won't you find out olf of liim abimt the 
Board meetin'J" the doctor asked in di.sappointment. 
"Must you wait till you see me ajrain oncet ?" 

"He will tell mother. I can get her to tell me " 
Tillie said. ' 

"All right. Somcpin's going to happen too good 
to wait! Now look-abe.-e, Tillie, is your pop to be 
tole about your certificate?" 

"I won't tell him until I must. I don't know 

how he 'd take it. lie might not let me get a school 

to teach. Of course, when once I 've got a school 

he will have to be told. And then," she quietly 

added, "I shall teach, whether he forbids it or not " 

"To be sure!" heartily as.sented the doctor. "And 

leave him go roll hisself, ain't! I '11 keep a look- 

out fur you and tell you the first wacancy I hear of " 

"What would I do- what should I have done in all 

these years, Doc-if it had n't been for vou!" .smiled 

Tdhe, with an affectionate pressure of ] s rou-'h hand • 

and the doctor's face shone with pleasure to hear her.' 

' You have been a good friend to me, Doe " 

"Och, that 's all right, Tillie. As I sayed, wirtue 

has Its reward even in this here life. My wirtuous 

acts in standin' by you lias gave me as much satis- 


Sunshine and shadow 

faction as I 'v.. .. ,., ,,,,,1 out of anything- Rut now. 
T 111... about t..|l<n your j.op. I ,l„n't suspicion h,. M 
take It anyways u^ly. A body M fl,i„k 1„. M i„, 
proud! And he luul n't nono of the expense of 
fe'ivin you your nice e<lueation!" 

"I can't be sure how he would tal<e it, Doc so I 
would rather not tell him until I must." 

"All right. Just what you say. But I dare t,.|| 
missus, ain't?" 

"If she won't tell the girls. Doc. Tt would get back 
to father, I 'm afraid, if so n.anv knew it " 

"I '11 tell her not to tell, riu" '11 be as pleased au.l 
proud as if it was Man<la or Hebeeea '" 

"Poor Aunty Em I She k so goodto me. a-.d I ',„ 
afraid I Vc disappointed her!" Tillie bumblv said- 
but somehow the sadness that should have exp.vsse,! 
Itself m the voice of one under sii.spensi.m from 
meeting, when speaking of her sin, was quite lackin<- 
V\hen, at length, they reached the Cietz farm Mr 
Oetz met them at the gate, his face harsh with <lis^ 
pleasure at Tillie 's long and unpermitted absence 
irom home. 

* ''^^•^"°-^«'^«'-"' soid the doctor, pleasantly, as her 
lather liftea her down from the high bug-'y 'T 
guess missus tole you how I heard Tillie fain'ted awiy 
m a swoond day before yesterday, so this morniii.r 
I come over to see her oncet- Aunty Km she was so,„e 
oneasy. And I seen she would mebbe liave another 
such a swoond if she did n't get a long day out in 
the air. It 's done her wonderful much good-won- 


Tillic: A Mennonite Maid 

"She had n't no uwd to stiiy ull day!" growled 
Mr. (!etz. "Aloni had all Tillie's work to do, and her 
own too. and .she did n't jfet it through all." 

"Well, bettor Ul the work than have Tillie havin' 
any more of them tlauKerous swoonds. Th.'in 's dan- 
gerous, I toll you, Jake! SometimoH folks never 
comes to, yet I" 

Mr. IJetz looked at Tillie apprehensively. "Yon 
better ro in and Bet your hot supper. Tillie," ho said, 
not unt-'i'iitly. 

Before this forbearance of her father, Tillie had 
a feeling of shame in the doetor's snliterfuiies. as 
she bade her loyal friend ,u[ood nisrht and turned to 
^'o indoors. 

"You '11 be over to Board meetin' to-ni};ht, ain't!" 
'ae doctor said to Mr. (Jetz as he picked up the reins. 

"To bo sure! Me and Nathaniel I'lintz has a state- 
ment to make to the Board that 11 chase that tony 
dude teacher oflf his job so quick ho won't have time 
to pack his trunk!" 

"Is that so?" the doctor said in feigned surprise. 
"Well, he certainly is some tony— that I nuist give 
him, Jake. Well, pood night to yous! Be careful 
of Tillie 's health!" 

fJetz wont into the house an<l the doctor, chuckling 
to himself, drove away. 

TiUh vas in bed, but sleep was far from lier eyes, 
when, late that night, she heard her father return 
from the Board meeting. Long she lay in her bed, 
listening with tense nerves to his suppre.-;sed tones 
as ho talked to his wife in the room across the hall, 

Sunshine and shadow 

but sho ciiiilil not liriif wliat In siiid, Xdt I'Vi'ii 
his tone of voicf was sulliciiiitly iiilinlitciiinK iis to 
liow iirt'airs had j,'oiii'. 

lu h.T wak-ifulinss thr iii;.'lit was iii.'iinizincly hm^': 

for thou(;h she was hoprt'nl of the sin ss (jf the 

iliietor'.s plot, she knew that possihiy thc^ri' iniirht hav.' 
hoon sonic fatal hitch. 

At the bivakfant-tahh', next niornitii.'. her fathir 
looked almost sick, and Tillic's Inai'l tlirohljcd with 
iinlilial joy in the sif;nilicanoc of this, lli.s manner to 
her was curt and his face betrayed suMen an^'er; he 
talked but little, and did not once refer to 'he Board 
meeting in lier presence. 

It was not until ten o'clock, when he had ■.-one with 
some of tlf children to the Kvanci'lieal churi'h. thiit 
she found her lou},'ed-for opportunity to (uiestion her 
stepni ither. 

"Well," she hejian, with assumed indilVerenee, as 
she and her mother worked tosiether in the kitelien 
preparing; the big Sunday diun<'r. "did they put Ih- 
li'aohi'r out?" 

"If they put him out?" exclaimed Mrs. Oct/, 
sliftlitly roused from her customary apntliy. "Well, 
I think they did n't! What do you think thev don.' 

"I 'm sure," said Tillie, evi<lently greatly 
interested in the turnips she was paring, "I don't 
know. ' ' 

"They raised his salary five a month!" 

The turnips dropped into the pan, and Tillie 
raised her eyes to gaze • :■ .lously into the face 



ll <l 




Iv! ' 


TilHe: A Mennonite Maid 

of hor stepmother, who. with hands on her hips, stood 
lookiui; down upon her. 

"Yes," went on Mrs. Getz, "that 'n what they 
done! A duinm thinK lilte that! And after pop 
and Nathaniel "untz they had spoke their speeches 
where they had ready, how Teacher he was n't fit fur 
William I'enn! And after they tole how he had up 
and gassed pop, and hitn a directer yet ! And Nathan- 
iel he tole how Absalom hail heard off the Doc how 
Teacher he was a' loibeliever and says niusin' ia the 
same to him as prayin'l Now think I Such eon- 
wictions as them ! And then, when the vvote was took, 
here it come out that only pop and Nathaniel Puntz 
wotcd asr'in' Teacher, and the other four they woted 
furl And they woted to raise his salary five a month 

Tillie's eyes dropped from her mother's ■ , 
her chin quivered, she bit her lip, and suddeu , 
unable to control herself, she broke into wild, helpleo, 

Mrs. Getz stared at her almost in consternation. 
Never before in her life had she seen Tillie laugh with 
such abandon. 

"What ails you?" she asked wonderingly. 

Tillie could find no voice to answer, her slight frame 
shaking convulsively. 

"What you laujihin' at, anyhow?" Mrs. Getz re- 
peated, now quite frigliten.^d. 

"That— that Wyandotte hen jumped up on the 
sill!" Tillie murmured— th ti went off into a perfect 
peal of mirth. It seemed as though all the pent-up joy 

Sunshine and shadow 

iiikI (.'iiiil.v i.f hir cliilillinntl linil Imrst forth in tliut 

"I (liin't si'c iiiitliin' in tlmt llmt 'n iinywa.vs p(iiii- 
ical— a Wyaiiddllc licti cii lli.' winiliiw-sill !'• siiiil Mrs, 
<i -t/, in stupid wiindiT. 

"Slio looked so-so-iili I" Tillie trnspcd, and wip.'d 
liiT cj-c^s with a ciirniT uf licr apnin. 

"You don't talsi' no int'nis! in wliat I tolo you 
all!" Mrs. (ii'tz ponipluincd. sitting' down near her 
sli'pdau<.'lilir to pick the cliickiMS for dinner. "I M 
think it would make you ashanwd fnr the way you 
stood up fur Teacher ajt'in' your own pop here last 
Thursday— fur them four dirccters to (,''> a^'in' pop 
like this here!" 

"What reasons did tliey (five for voting for the 
teacher?" Tillie asked, licr hysterics suhsidiiji.'. 

"They did n't trive no ri'asons till they had him 
elected a 'ready. Then Ad.-.m Ohe; i olzer he not up 
and he spoke how Teacher Icirned tlie scholars so 
Sjood and (tot alon<; without lickin' 'em any (pop lie 
had brunc that up «,'/''«' Teacher, but Adam he .-layed 
it was /■«/■). and that they better mebbe (rive him "five 
extry a month to make sure to keep such a kind man 
lo their ehildern, and one that learnt 'em so (food." 

Tillie showed sijrns, for an instant, of coini; otf into 
iUiother fit of laujlhter. 

"What 's ailin' you?" her mother asked in mystifi- 
cation. " I never seen you act so funny ! You better 
s,'o take a drink." 

Tillie repressed herself and went on with lier work. 

Daring the remainder of that day, and, indeed, 



Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

through all t}ie week that followed, she strusslcd to 
conceal from her father the exultation of her spirits. 
She feared he would interpret it as a rejoicin<; over 
his defeat, and there was really no such feelins; in 
the ^'irl's jjentle heart. She was even moved to some 
faint— it must be confessed, very faint— pangs of pity 
for him as she saw, from day to day, how hard he 
took his defeat. Apparently, it was to him a sickeniiifr 
blow to have his "authority" as school director defied 
by a penniless young man who was partly dependent 
upon his vote for daily bread. He suffered keenly 
in his conviction that the teacher was as deeply ex- 
ultant in his victory as Get-: had expected to be. 

In these days, Tillie walked on air, and to Mrs. 
Getz and the ehil(lr':ii she seemed almost another girl, 
with that happy vibration in her usually sad voice, 
and that light of gladness in her soft pensive eyes. 
The glorious consciousness was ever with her that 
the teacher was always near — though she saw him 
but seldom. This, and the possession of the precious 
certificate, her talisman to freedom, hidden always in 
her bosom, made her daily drudgery easy to her and 
her hours full of hope and happiness. 

Deep as was Tillie 's impression of the steadiness 
of purpose in Absalom's character, she was neverthe- 
less rather taken aback when, on the Sunday night 
after that horrible experience in the woods, her suitor 
stolidly presented himself at the farm-house, attired 
in his best clothes, his whole aspect and bearing elo- 
quent of the fact that recent defeat had but made 
him more doggedly determined to win in the end. 


Sunshine and shadow 

Tillie wondered if she miirlit not bo safe now in dis- 
missing him eniphatieally and finally; but she decided 
there was still daufjer lest Absalom niijiht wreak his 
venjieanee in some dreadful way upon the teaeher. 

Her heart was so full of happiness that she could 
tolerate even Absalom. 

Only two short weeks of tliis briijlitness and glory, 
and then the blow fi'll— the blow which l)lackened 
the sun in the lieavens. The teacher suddenly, and 
most mysteriously, resifrned and went away. 

No one knew why. Whether it was to take a better 
position, or for what other possible reason, not a soul 
in the township could tell— not even the Doc. 

Strant;e to say, Fairchilds'.s goinfr. instead of pleas- 
ing Mr. (Jetz, was only an addecl otVense to both him 
and Absalom. They had thirst<>d for vengeance; they 
had lonfred to humiliate this "hi};h-minded dude"; 
and now not only was the opportunity lost to them, 
but the ",iob" they had determined to wrest from 
him was indifferently hurled back in their faces— he 
(lid n't ivnnt it! Absalom and Getz writhed in their 
helpless spleen. 

Tillie 's undisccrnin<r family did not for an in.stant 
attribute to its true cause her sudden change from 
radiant happiness to the weakness and la.ssitudc that 
tell of mental anguish. They were not given to .seeing 
anything that was not entirely on the surface and per- 
fectly obvious. 

Three days had passed since Pairehilds's departure 
—three days of utter blackness to Tillie: and on the 
third day she went to pay her weekly visit to the 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 




trpe-hollow in the woods where she was wont to place 
Miss Margaret's letters. 

On this 0'\y she found, to her amazement, two 
letters. Her knees shook as she recognized the teach- 
er's handwriting on one of them. 

There was no stamp and no post-mark on the en- 
velop, lie liad evidently written the letter before 
leaving, and had left it with the doctor to be delivered 
to her. 

Tillie had always been obliged to manceuver skil- 
fully in order to get away from the house long enough 
to pay these weekly visits to the tree-hollow; and she 
nearly always read her letter from Miss Margaret at 
night by a candle, when the household was asleep. 

But now, heedless of consequences, she sat down on 
a snow-eovered log and opened Fairchilds'is letter, her 
teeth chattering with more than cold. 

It was only a note, written in great haste and evi- 
dently under some excitement. It told her of his 
immediate departure for Cambridge to accept a rather 
profitable private tutorship to a rich man's son. He 
would write to Tillie, later, when he could. Mean- 
while, God bless her— and he was always her friend. 
That was all. He gave her no address and did not 
speak of her writing to him. 

Tillie walked home in a dream. All that evening, 
she was so "dopplig" as finally to call forth a sharp 
rebuke from her father, to which she paid not the 
slightest heed. 

Would she ever see him again, her heart kept ask- 
ing ? Would he really write to her again ? Where was 


"She sat down on a **iiow-covpr(;il log and opened 
Fairchilds's letter.'' 

Sunshine and shadow 

he have in any If T ?'"'^' '° ''^^"''"^ ' Did 

for he^ th"atTe'Sfo7;ir '^'^^' '"^ ^-™'"^- 

Mils'Maitet X'n iTr'/T '"''' '^^■^'°^'''*^ *" 
forgotten that a Wst7''f *''''* ''■- ^"^ "'"""^t 
P-t midnight sheTo„kt"f" r^ '''"'"' « ""'^' 
""ticed whit hid b t e eZcfh "" ' "'''''* ^'''■ 
writing in load on the back offl T""" ""''" 

in the doctor's strenuous ha'd ""'^""'- '' "^'^ 

prS:T Jo™; piTw : r" -^^ ^°* *^- «■' 

"•eating saterdy its to t ^"^ ^"^ "' ^-^ ^ored 

pop." ^ '*' '° ^' " ^•"•Prize party for your 






i'l 1: 

AT half-past seven o'clock on Saturday evening, 
, the School Board once more convened in the 
hotel parlor, for the purpose of electing Fairchikls's 

"Up till now," Mr. Oetz had remarked at the sup- 
per-table, "I ain't been tole of no candidate applyin' 
fur William Penn, and here to-night we meet to elect 
him— or her if she 's a female." 

Tillie's heart had jumped to her throat as she 
heard him, wondering how he would take it when 
they announced to him that the applicant was none 
other than his own daughter— whether he would be 
angry at her long deception, or gratified at the pros- 
pect of her earning so much money— for, of course, 
it would never occur to him that she would dare refuse 
to give him every cent she received. 

There was unwonted animation in the usually 
stolid faces of the School Board lo-night; for the 
members were roused to a lively appreciation of the 
situation as it related to Jake Getz. The doctor had 
taken each and every one of them into his confidence, 
and had graphically related to them the story of how 
Tillie had "come by" her certificate, and the tale had 

The revolt of Tillic 

elicited their paitizansliip for Tillie, as for the hero- 
ine of a drama. Even Nathaniel Puntz was enjoy- 
ing the fact that he was to-nifiht on the side of the 
majority. With Tillie, they wnr in doubt as to how 
Jake Getz would receive the news. 

"Is they a" iippliciiiit ?" he inciuired on his arrival. 

"Why, to be sure," said .Nathaniel Puntz. "What 
fur would it be worth while to waste time meetin' to 
elect her if they ain"t none!" 

"Then she 's a female, is she?" 

"Well, slie ain't no male, anyways, nor no Harvard 
srradyate, neither. If slie was, / would n't wote fur 

"What mifiht her name be?" 

"It 's some such a French name." answered the doc- 
tor, who had carried in the lamp and was lingering 
a minute. "It would, now, surprise you, Jake, if 
you heard it oneet." 

"Is she such a foreigner yet?" Getz asked suspi- 
ciously. "I mistrust 'em when they 're foreigners." 

"Well," spoke Adam Oberholzer, as the doctor re- 
luctantly went out, "it ain't ten mile from here she 
was raised." 

"Is she a gradyate ? We had n't ought to take none 
but a Normal. We had enough trouble!" 

"No, she ain't a Normal, but she 's got her certifi- 
cate oflf the superintend(nt." 

"Has any of yous saw her?" 

"Och, yes, she 's familiar with us," replied Joseph 
Kettering, the Amishman, who was president of the 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

i : 

"Why ain't she familiar with mo, thon?" fiotz 
in(|iiired, looking bewildered, as the president opened 
the ink-bottle that stood on the table about which they 
sat, ,iiid distributed slips of paper. 

'Well, that 's some different again, too," face- 
tiously answered Joseph KetterinR. 

"Won't she be here to-night to leave us sec her 
oncet ? ' ' 

"She won't, but her pop will," answered Nathaniel 
Puntz ; and Mr. Getz vajruely realized in the expres- 
sions about him that something unusual was in the 

"What do we want with her popf" he asked. 

"We want his ivotr!" answered Adam Oberholzer 
— which sally broujiht forth hilarious laufrhter. 

"What you mean!" demanded Getz, impatient of 
all this mystery. 

"It 's the daughter of one of this here Board that 
we 're wotin' fur!" 

Mr. Getz's eyes moved about the table. "Why, 
none of yous ain't got a growed-up daughter that 's 
been to school long enough to get a certificate." 

"It seems there 's ways of gettin' a certificate with- 
out goin' to school. Some girls ^an learn theirselves 
at home without even a teacher, and workin' all the 
time at farm-work, still, and even livin' out!" said 
Mr. Puntz. "I say a girl with \ndnstry like that 
would make any feller a good wife." 

Getz stared at him in bewilderment. 

"The members of this Board," said Mr. Kettering, 
solemnly, "and the risin' generation of the future, 


The revolt of Tillie 

can point this here nppli. mt nut to their childrrn 
as n shinin' pxninph- of what can he did bv iiirfHsti-y, 
without money and without price — and it '11 be fur 
a spur to 'em to p) thou and do likewise." 

"Are you so dumm, Jal<e, you don't know tjct who 
we mean?" Nathaniel asked. 

"Why, to be sure, don't I! None of yous has pot 
such a daughter where lived out." 

"Except yourself, Jake!" 

The eyes of the Board were fixed upon Mr. Oetz in 
excited expectation. But he was still heavily uncom- 
prehending. Then the presiilent, risiiij/, made his 
formal announc<>iMent, impressively an<l with dignity. 

"Members of Canaan Township School Board: We 
will now proceed to wote fur the applicant fur Wil- 
liam Penn. She is not unknownst to this here Board. 
She is a worthy and wirtuou.< female, and has a good 
moral character. We think she 's been well learnt 
how to manage childern. fur she 's been raised in a 
family where childern was never scarce. The appli- 
cant," continued the speaker, "is— as I stated a 
couple minutes baek— a shining example of industry 
to the rising generations of the future, fur she's got 
her certificate to teach— and wery high marks on it— 
and done it all by her own unaided efforts and indus- 
try. Members of Canaan Township School Board, we 
are now ready to wote fur Matilda Maria Getz." 

Before his dazed wits could recover from the shock 
of this announcement, Jake Oetz's daughter had be- 
come the unanimously elected teacher of William 


TilHe: A Mennonite Maid 


The ruliriR passion of tlic siml of .Jiieob (Jotz mani- 
fested itself eonspipuously in his reeeption of the rev- 
elation that his iluuKhter, thronKli delihernte anil sys- 
tematic disobedienec, earried on through all the years 
of her girlhood, had sueeerded in obtaining a certifi- 
eiite from the connty superintendent, and was now 
the teaeher-elect at V'illiani IVnn. The father's satis- 
fnetion in the possession of a ehild eapahle of earnins; 
forty dollars a month, his greedy ,joy in the prospect 
of this addition to his income, entirely overshadowed 
and dissipated the riit.'e he would otherwise have fi'lt. 
The pathos of his child's courageous persistency in 
the face of his dreaded severity, of her pitiful strnfrjile 
with all the adverse conditions of her life,— this 
did not enter at all into his ccmsideration of the 
case. It was obvious to Tillie, as it had been to the 
School Board on Saturday niftht, that he felt an added 
satisfaction in the fact that this w(mder had been 
accomplished without any loss to him either of money 
or of his child's labor. 

Somehow, her father's reception of her triumph 
filled her heart with more bitterness than she had i^ver 
felt toward him in all the years of her hard endeavor. 
It was Oil the eve of her first day of teaching that his 
unusually affectionate attitude to her at the supper- 
table ^iuddenly roused in her a passion of hot resent- 
ment such as her gentle heart had not often expe- 

"I owe you no thanks, father, for what education 
I have!" she burst forth. "Yon always did every- 
thing in your power to hinder me !" 


The revolt of Tillie 

If n bmiil) liiiil t'\|)liMltil ill the midst nf tlii'iii. Mr. 
iinil Mrs. *M'tz c'diild nut liiivc brcii iiiorc eoiifdiimli'd. 
Jlrs. (it'lz liiiiki'd t(i sec licr liiisliiiiid (irdiT Tillii' fnmi 

the tiibli', (ir rise frmii liis pli in sliiil<c licr mid Impx 

hiT ears. Hut lie did mitlui-. In aiiiiizciiiciil lie 
stared at liir fur a iiioiiii'nt— llicii aiisvicrcd witli ii 
iinldiicss that aina/id liis wilV' I'Veii iimh-c than Tillie's 
"sassincss" had duiii'. 

"I 'd 111' lift you study if I M kiiuwed you cuuhl 
eoiiic ti) anylhiiii.' lilie lliis hy il. Hut I always thniitrht 
you 'd havo tii t-n to the Ni)riiial to lie fit fur a 
teacher yet. And yiui ean't say you don't owe me no 
thanks— ain't I always kep' vom?" 

"Kept me!" answered Tillii', willi a scorn that 
widened her fatlicr's stare and made lier stepmother 
drop her knife on her plate; "1 never worked lialf 
so hard at Aunty Em's as I have done liere every 
day of my life Kince I was nine years old — and sin' 
thought my work worth not only my 'keep.' hut two 
(h)llars a week besides. When do you ever spend two 
dollars on me? You never fiave me a dollar that 
I had n't earned ten times over! You owe me back 

Jake (ietz laid down his knife, with a look on his 
face that made his other children quail. His coun- 
tenance was livid with an};cr. 

"Owe you back uiuj(x!" he choked. "Ain't you 
my child, then, where I besat and raised? Don't I 
own yon? What 's a child fur? To frrow up to be 
no use to thini that raised it? You talk like that to 
me!" hf roared. "You tell me I owe you back 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

111 ii 



i 'I' 


iiionpy! Now listen Iktp ! I wns n-K<iin' tn li'nvo you 
keep five dollars every iiioiitli out of yo'ir forty. Yes, 
I coiieeiteil I 'il leave you have all that— live a iiioutli I 
Now fur snssiu' me like what you done, I ain't leavin' 
you have none the first month!" 

"Anil what," Tillie wondereil, a strange ealiii siiil- 
(leidy following her outburst, as she sat liaek in her 
chair, white and silent, "what will he do and sa.v when 
I refuse to give hiin more than the priee of my 

Her school-work, which began next day, diverted 
her mind somewhat from its deep yearning for 
him who had become to her the very breath of 
her life. 

It was on the Sunday nisrht aft"r ' .r first 'veek of 
teachinfi that she told Absalom, with .ill ttie 
she could command, that he must not eome to see her 
Hn,y more, for she was resolved not to marry him. 

"Who arc you goin' to marry, then?" he inquired, 

' ' No one. " 

"Do you mean it fur really, that you 'd ruther be 
a' ole maid?" 

"I 'd rather Ue six old maids than the wife of a 
Dutchman !" 

"What fur kind of a man do you want, then?" 

"Not the kind that grows in this township." 

"Would you, mebbe," Absalom sarcastically in- 
quired, "like such a dude like what—" 

"Absalom!" Tillie flashed her beautiful eyes upon 
him. "You are unworthy to mention his name to me ! 


The revolt of Tillic 

Dnn't dnro to Hpcak to n f liini— or I shall leave 

.villi mid (JO iip-Htiiirs rii/lit iiuai)!" 

AI)Nali>iii siilli'iily HiilMiileil. 

Wlieii, liilcr, lie li'l't her, slie saw thai lier firm re- 
fusal to marry liliii hail in no wise liallled him. 

This iiii|>i'essiuri was euMliriiieil whiii on the next 
Suiiilay ni^ht. in spiti' of her prohihition, he uRain 
presented liimself, 

Tillie was mortally weary that iiii;ht. Iler letter 
had not eome, and her nervons wailini;. to(.'i'ther with 
the strain of her unwonted work of teaehini;. had 
told on her eniluranee. So poor Ahsalonr" leeeption 
at her hands was even eolder than her father's 
trreetini; at the kitehen door; for siuee Tillie '3 elec- 
tion to William I'eiin, Mr (letz was more opposed 
than ever to her .iuirriaj;e, and he did not at all relish 
the younjj ni'in's persisteney in eoming to see her in 
the faee of his own repeated warnini;. 

"Tillie," Ahsniom he;;an when they were alone to- 
pother after the family had none to bed, "I thought 
it over oneet, and I come to say I 'd ruther have you 
'round, even if you did n't do nothin' hut set and knit 
mottos and play the orsjan, than any other woman 
where could do all my housework fur me. I 'II liirc 
fur you. Tillie— and yon can just set and enjoy 
yourself musin', like what Doe says book-learnt peo- 
ple likes to do." 

Tillie's eyes rested on him with a softer a'id a 

kindlier lifjlit in them than she had ever sho« liiu 

before : for such a ma};nanimous oft'er as this, she 

thought, could spring only from the fact that Absa- 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

' Ji wns rouUy deeply in love, and she was not a lit- 
tle touched. 

She contemplated hira earnestly as he sat before 
her, lookinjr so utterly unnatural in his Sunday 
clothes. A feelini; of compassion for him began to 
steal into her heart. 

"If I am not careful," she thoui,'ht in consterna- 
tion, "I shall be sayinf,*, 'Yes,' out of pity." 

But a doubt .juiekly crept into her heart. Was it 
really that he loved her so very much, or was it thai 
liis obstinacy was strcmger than his pi-udence, anil 
that if he could not get her as he wanted her,— as 
his housekeeper and the mother of numberless chil- 
dren,— he would take her on her own conditions? 
Oidy so he yot her— that was the point. lie had 
made up his mind to have her — it must be accom- 

"Absalom," she said, "I am not going to let you 
waste any more of your time. You must never c(mi<> 
to see me again after to-night. I won 't ever nuirry 
you, and I won't let you go on like this, with your 
false hope. If you come again, I won't see you. 
I 'II go up-stairs!" 

One would have thought that this had no uncertain 
ring. But again Tillie knew-, when Absalom left her. 
that his resolution not only was not shaken,— it was 
not even jarred. 

The weeks moved on, and the longed-for letter did 
not come. Tillie tried to gather courage to question 
the doctor as to whether Pairehilds had made any ar- 
rangement with him for the delivery of a letter to 


The revolt of Tillie 

her. {jut au ijisti.nit of maidenly reserve and pride 
whie; il,!' oonlii i ot conquer kept her lips closed on 
the su'. i':': 

Had it not bee i for this all-consuming desire fur a 
letter, she would more keenly have felt her enforced 
alienation from her aunt, of whom she was so fond ; 
and at the same time have taken really fireat pleasure 
in her new work and in having reached at last her 
long-anticipated goal. 

In the meantime, while her secret sorrow— like 
Sir Iludibras's rusting .sword that had nothing else 
to feed upon and so hacked upon itself— seemed eat- 
ing out her very heart, the letter which would have 
been to her as manna in the wilderness had fallen into 
her father's hands, and after being laboriously 
conned by him, to his utter confusion as to its mean- 
ing, had been consigned to the kitchen fire. 

Mr. Getz's reasons for withholding the letter from 
his daughter and burning it were several. In the first 
place, Pairchilds was "an uHbeliever," and therefore 
his influence was baneful ; he was Jacob Getz's enemy, 
and therefore no fit per.s<m to be writing friendly let- 
ters to his daughter: he asked Tillie, in his letter, to 
write to him, and this would involve the buying of 
stationery and wasting of time that might be bc'tter 
spent; and finally, he and Tillie, as he painfully 
gathered from the letter, were "making up" to a 
degree that might end in her wanting to marry the 

Mr. Getz meant to tell Tillie that he had received 
this letter; but somehow, every time he opened his lips 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 


to speak the words, the memory of her wild-cat be- 
havior in defense of the teacher tluit afternoon in 
the woods, and her horribly death-like appearance 
when she had lain unconscious in the teacher's arms. 
recurred to him with a vividness that elTectually 
checked him, and eventually led him to decide that 
it were best not to risk another such outbreak. So 
she remained in ifinorance of the fact that Faireliilds 
had again written to lier. 

Carlyle's "Gospel of Work" was indeed Tillies 
salvation in these (hiys ; for in spite of her restless 
ycarnini; and loneliness, she was deeply interested 
and even fascinated with her teachinsr. and greatly 
pleased and eneouraijed with her success in it. 

At last, with the end of her first month at William 
Penn, came the rather dreaded "pay-day"; for she 
knew that it would mean the hardest battle of her 

The forty dollars was handed to her in bcr school- 
room on Friday afternoon, at the close of the session. 
It seemed untold wealth to Tillie, who never before 
in her life had owned a dollar. 

She did not risk carrying it all liome with her. 
The larprer part of the sum she intrusted to the 
doctor to deposit for her in a Lancaster bank. 

When, at five o'clock, she reached home and walked 
into the kitchen, her father's eap:erness for her return, 
that he might lay his itehin? palms on her earnings, 
was perfectly manifest to her in his unduly affec- 
tionate, "Well, Tillie!" 

She was pale, but outwardly composed. It was 

The revolt of Tillie 

to be one of those supreiiic prises in life which 
one is apt to meet with a eoiirapre and a serenity that 
are not forthcomin<; in the smaller irritations and 
trials of daily experienee. 

"You don't look so hearty." her father said, as she 
quietly hung up her shawl and hood in the kitchen 
cupboard. "A body 'd think yuu 'd pick up and 
get fat, now you don't have to work nothin', except 
mornings and evenings." 

" There is no harder work in the world, father, 
than teaching— even when you like it." 

"It ain't no work," he impatiently retorted, "to set 
and hear off lessons." 

Tillie did not dispute the point, as she tied a ging- 
ham apron over her dress. 

Her father was sitting in a eorner of the room, shell- 
ing corn, with Sammy and Sally at his side helping 
him. He stopped short in his work anil glanced at 
Tillie in, as she immediately set abotit as- 
sisting her mother in setting ihe supper-table. 

"You was paid to-day, was n't you?" 


" Well, why don't you gimme the money, then? 
Where have you got it ? " 

Tillie drew a roll of bills from her pocket and came 
up to him. 

He held out his hand. "You know, Tillie, I tole 
you I ain't givin' you ncme of your wages this month, 
fur sassin' me like what you done. But next month, 
if you 're good-behaved till then, I '11 give you mebbe 
five dollars. Gimme here." he said, reaching for the 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

money acrosj the heads of the children in front of 

But she did not obey. She looked at J-'in steadily 
as she stood before him, and spoke deliberately, 
though every nerve in her body was jumping. 

"Aunty Em charged the teacher fifteen dollars a 
month for board. That included his washing and iron- 
ing. I really earn my board by the work I do here 
Saturdays and Sundays, and in the mornings and 
evenings before and after school. But I will pay you 
twelve dollars a month for my board." 

She laid on his palm two five-dollar bills and two 
ones, and calmly walked back to the table. 

Getz sat as one suddenly turned to stone. Sammy 
and Sally dropped their corn-cobs into their laps and 
stared in frightened wonder. Mrs. Getz stopped cut- 
ting the bread and gazed stupidly from her husband 
to her stepdaughter. Tillie alone went on with her 
work, no sign in her white, still face of the passion 
of terror in her heart at her own unspeakable bold- 

Suddenly two resounding slaps on the ears of 
Sammy and Sally, followed by their sharp screams of 
pain and fright, broke the tense stillness. 

"Who tole you to stop workin', heh?" demanded 
their father, fiercely. "Leave me see you at it, do 
you hear? You stop another time to gape around 
and 1 'II lick you good! Stop your bawlin' now, 
this minute ! ' ' 

He rose from his chair and strode over to the table. 


The revolt of Tillie 

Seizing Tillie by the shoulder, he ilrevv her in front 
of him. 

"Gimme every dollar of them forty!" 

"I have given you all I have." 

"Where are you got the others hid?" 

"I have deposited my money in a Laneastor bank." 

Jacob Getz's face turned apopleetie with rage. 

"Who took it to Lancaster fur you?" 

"I sent it." 

"What fur bank?" 

"I prefer not to tell you that." 

"You pcrfer! I '11 learn you pcrfrr! Who took it 
in fur you— and what fur bank? Answer to me !" 

"Father, the money is mine." 

"It 's no such thing! You ain't but seventeen. 
And I don't care if you 're eighteen or even twenty- 
one ! You 're my child and you '11 obey to me and do 
what I tell you!" 

"Father, I will not submit to your robbing mc. 
You can't force me to giv<' you my earnings. If you 
could, I would n't teach at all !" 

"You won't submit! And I darsent rob yon!" he 
spluttered. "Don't you know I can collect your 
wages otf the secretary of the Board myself?" 

"Before next pay-day I shall be eighteen. Then 
you can't legally do that. If you could. I would 
resign. Then you would n't even get ,vour twi>lvc 
dollars a month for my board. That 's four dollars 
more than I can earn living out at Aunty Em's." 

Beside himself with his fury, Getz drew her a few 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

steps to tlio closot wIkto his strap hunfr, and jorkinf; 
it from its nail, he swun',' out liis arm. 

But Tillie, with a sln-iifrth Imrn (if a sudden fury 
almost matching his (nvn, ami fc-linu' in her awakened 
womanhood a new sense of outraf.'e and iRnominy in 
such treatment, wrenehed herself free, sprang to the 
middle of the room, and faced him with hiazing eyes. 

"Dare to tcmeh me-ever again so long as you 
live!-and I '11 kill you, I 'II kill you!" 

Such madness of speech, to cars Eceustomed to (he 
care^'ully tempered converse of Me.nionites, Amish, 
and Dunkards, was in itself a wickedness almost as 
great as the deed threatened. The family, from the 
father down to six-year-old Zephaniah, trembled to 
hear the awful words. 

"Ever dare to touch me again so long as we both 
live— and I '11 stab you dead!" 

Mrs. Getz shrieked. Sally and Sammy clung to 
each other whimpering in terror, and the younger 
children about the room took up the chorus. 

"Tillie!" gasped her father. 

The girl tottered, her eyes suddenly rolled back in 
her head, she stretched out her hands, and fell over 
on the floor. Once more Tillie had fainted. 




AS a (Ircnvninjr man dinsis to wliatovor pomos in 
XX liis way, Tillic, in these weaiy days of lieart- 
aelie and yeai-ninsr, turned witli new intensity iif feel- 
in;; to Miss Mar^iaret, wlio had never faih'd her, 
and their interchanijo of letters became more fre- 

Iler father did not easily frive up the struaale with 
her for the possession of her salary. Finding that lie 
eould not le^ially eolleet it himself from the treasurer 
of the Board, he accused his brother-in-law, Abe 
\Vaekernagel, of having taken it to town for Iter; and 
when Abe denied the charge, with the as.surance, 
however, that he "would do that much for Tillie any 
day he got the ehancet," Mr. Getz ne.\t ta.xed the 
doctor, who, of course, without the least scruple, de- 
nied all knowledge of Tillie 's monetary affairs. 

On market day, he liad to go to Lancaster City, 
and when liis efforts to force Tillie to sign a check 
payable to him had proved vain, his baHled greed 
again roused him to uncontrollable fury, and lifting 
his hand, he struck her across ihe cheek. 

Tillie reeled and would have falh'n had he not 
caught her, his anger instantly cooling in his fear 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

lest she faint again. But Tillie had no idea of faint- 
ing. "Let me go," she said quietly, drawing her 
arm out of his ela&p. Turning quickly away, 
she walked straight out of the room and up-stairs 
to her chamber. 

Her one change of clothing she quickly tied into 
a bundle, and putting on her bonnet and shawl, she 
walked down-stairs and out of the house. 

"Where you goin'?" her father demanded roughly 
as he followed her out on the porch. 

She did not answer, but walked on to the gate. In 
an instant he had overtaken her and stood squarely in 
her path. 

"Where you goin' to?" he repeated. 
"To town, to board at the store." 
He dragged her, almost by main force, back into 
the house, and all that evening kept a watch upon her 
until he knew that she was in bed. 

Next morning, Tillie carried her bundle of clothing 
to school with her, and at the noon recess she went to 
the family who kept the village store and engaged 
board with them, saying she could not stand the daily 
walks to and from school. 

When, at si.x o'clock that evening, she had not re- 
turned home, her father drove in to the village store 
to get her. But she locked herself in her bedroom and 
would not come out. 

In the next few weeks he tried every means of force 
at his command, but in vain ; and at last he humbled 
himself to propose a compromise. 
"I 'II leave you have some of your money every 

Getz "learns" Tillic 

month, Tillip,— as much as fen dollars,— if you 'II give 
mc tho rest, still." 

"Why should I fjivp it to you, father? How 
would that beni'tit mrf she said, with a rather wicked 
re.ish in turning the tables on him and applyin;; his 
life principle of selfishness to her own case. ' 

Iler father did not know how to imrt it. Never he- 
fore in her life, to his knowled-e. had Tillie consid- 
ered her own bi'nefit before his and that of his wife 
and children. That she should dar. to do so now 
seemed to knock the foun(!ations from under him. 

"When I 'ni dead, won't you and the otliers in- 
herit off of me all T Ve saved?" he feebly inquired. 
"But that will be when I 'm too old to enjoy or 
profit by it." 

"How much do you want I should give you out of 
your wages every month, then?" 

"You can't give me what is not yours to give." 
"Now don't you be sassin' me. or I 'II learn you!" 
They were alone in her school-room on a late Feb- 
ruary afternoon, after school had been dismis.sed. 
Tillie quickly rose and reached for her shawl and 
bonnet. She usually tried to avoid giving him an 
opportunity like this for bullying her, with no one by 
to protect her. 

"Just stay settin'," he growled sulh.nly. and she 
knew from his tone that he had surrendered. 

"If you '11 come home to board. I won't bother you 
no more, then," he further humbled himself to add. 
The loss even of the twelve dollars' board was more 
than he could bear. 


Tillic: A Mennonite MaM 

"It would not bo safe," answorcd Tillic, grimly, 

"Och, it '11 be safe enough. I '11 leave you be." 

"It would not bf safe f(>r i/oii." 

' ' Fur me ? What you t?lkin ' ' " 

"If you lost your temper and siruek me, I mipht 
kill you. That 's why I fimw away." 

The father stared in furtive horror at the white, 
impassive faee of his {laughter. 

Could this be Tillie— his meek, lonpr-sufTerinfi Til- 

"Another thini,'." she eonlinued resolutely, for she 
had lost all fear of si)eakin}.' her mind to him, "why 
should I pay you twlvi' dollars a month board, when 
I ,."1 my board at the store for si.\, because I wait 
on j'.istomi I's b.'lween times?" 

Mr. Getz looked very downcast. There was a Ion;; 
silence between them. 

"I must !;o now, father. This is the hcmr that I 
always spend in the store." 

"I '11 board you fur six, then," he prowled. 

"And make me work from four in the mornin;; 
until eight or nine at night? It is easier standing 
in the .store. I can read when there arc no customers." 

"To think I brung up a child to talk to me like 
this here!" lie stared at her incredulously. 

"The rest will turn out even worse," Tillie prophe- 
sied with conviction, "unless you are less harsh with 
them. Your harshness will drive every child you have 
to defy you." 

"I '11 take good care none of the others turns 
out like you!" he threateningly exclaimed. "And 

Gctz « learns" Tillie 

you 'II spo impct ! Ydii 'II find nut ! Yon just wait ! 
I tried cvcrythiiit'— now I Itiiow what I 'iii doiii'. 
It 'II Icani you !" 

In the ni'xt fow weeks, iis nothinjr turned up to 
Minke n<)()d these threats, Tillie often wondered what 

lier father hiid ant by llieni. It was not like liini to 

waste time in empty words. 

Hut she was soon to learn. One evening; the doctor 
eanu' over to the store to repeat to her some ruiiiots 
lie had heard and whieli hi' thought slie outrht to 

"Tillie! your pop 's workiu' the directors to have 
you chased otl' William I'enu till the April election 
a 'ready !" 

" Ob, Doc!" Tillie siasped, "how do you know?" 

"That 's what the talk is. He 's s;oin' about to all 
of 'em whenever he can haiuly leave ofl' from his \, '•. 
and he 's tellin' 'em they had ourfit to set that ex- 
ample to onruly children: and most of 'em 's aijreein' 
with him. Nathaniel I'untz he afjrees with him. Ab- 
salom he talks down on you since you won't leave him 
eome no more Sundays, still. Your pop he says whi'u 
your teachin' is a loss to him instead of a help, he 
ain't Icavin' you keep on. He says when you don't 
have no more money, you 'II have to eome home and 
help him and .vonr mom with the work. Nathaniel 
Puntz he says this is i. warnin' to parents not 
to leave their children have too much education— 
that they get high-minded that way and won't even get 

"But, Doc," Tillie pleaded with him in an agony of 


Tillie: A Mcnnonite Maid 

mind, "you won't let them take my sphool from me, 
will you? You '11 muke them li't me kei'p itt" 

The doctor (jave a little lauifh. "By (folly, Tillie, 
I ain't the I'residcnt of Ameriea ! You think beeaiisc 
I Rot you through oneet or fwieet. I kin do rtiiiythiiit; 
with them direeters, still! Well, a body ean't «/»•«;/.< 
avt ahead of a set of stuhborn-hfadcd Dutehrnen— and 
with Nathaniel Puntz so wonderful thick in with your 
pop to work at' 'in' you, because you won't have that 
dumm Absalom of liisii !" 

"What shall I do?" Tillie cried. "I can never, 
never go back to my old life aiiain— that hopeless, 
dreary drudgery on the farm! I can't, indeed I 
can't! I won '< go back. What shall I do?" 

"Look-ahere, Tillie!" the doctor spoke soothingly, 
'I '11 do what I otherwise kin to help you. I '11 do 
some back-talkin' myself to them direeters. But you 
see," he .said in a troubled tone, "none of them diree- 
ters happens to owe me no doctor-bill just now, and 
that makes it a little harder to persuade 'em to see 
my view of the case. Now if only .some of their wives 
would up and get sick' for 'em and I could run 'em 
up a bill! But," he concluded, shaking his head in 
discouragement, "it 's a wonderful healthy season- 
wonderful healthy!" 

In the two months that followed, the doctor worked 
hard to counteract Mr. Gctz's influence with the 
Board. Tillie, too, mis.sed no least opportunity to 
plead her cause with them, not only by direct argu- 
ment, but by the indirect means of doing her best 
possible work in her school. 


"She no luii^'cr wi.i'* her iniii-likc gurl)." 



Getz "learns" Tillie 

But both she and the doctor realized, as the weeks 
moved on, that they were workins in vain ; for Mr. 
Getz, in his statements to the directors, had appealed 
to some of their most deep-rooted prejudices. Tillie 's 
filial insubordination, her " hisih-mindedncss," her 
distaste for domestic work, so strong that she refused 
even to live under her father's roof— all these thin!,'s 
made her unfit to be an instructor and guide to their 
young children. She would imbue the ' ' rising genera- 
tion" with her worldly and wrong-headed ideas. 

Had Tillie remained "plain," she would no doubt 
have had the championship of the two New Mennonite 
members of the Board. But her apostasy had lost her 
even that defense, for she no longer wore her nun-like 
garb. After her suspension from meeting and her 
election to William Penn, she had gradually drifted 
into the conviction that colors other than gray, black, 
or brown were probably pleasing to the Creator, and 
that what really mattered was not what she wore, but 
what she was. It was without any violent struggles 
or throes of anguish that, in this revolution of her 
faith, she quite naturally fell away from the creed 
which once had held her such a devotee. When she 
presently appeared in the vain and ungodly habili- 
ments of "the world's people," the brethren gave her 
up in despair and excommunicated her. 

"No use, Tillie," the doctor would report in dis- 
couragement, week after week; "we 're up against 
it sure this time! You 're losin' William Penn till 
next month, or I '11 eat my hat ! A body might as well 
try to cat his hat as move them pig-headed Dutch 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

once they got sot. And they 're sot on puttin' you 
out, all right ! You see, your i)op and Nathaniel Puntz 
they just fixed 'em! Me and you ain't got no show 
at all." 

Tillie could think of no way of escape from her 
desperate position. What was there before her but 
ii return to the farm, or perhaps, at best, marriage 
with Absalom ? 

"To be sure, I should have to be reduced to utter 
indifference to my fate if I ever consented to marry 
Absalom," she bitterly told herself. "But when it is 
a question between doing that and living at home, I 
don't know but I might be driven to it!" 

At times, the realization that there was no possible 
appeal from her situation did almost drive her to a 
frenzy. After so many years of struggle, just as she 
was tasting success, to lose all tlie fruits of her labor 
—how could she endure it ? With the work she loved 
taken away from her, how could she bear the gnawing 
hunger at her heart for the presence of him unto 
whom was every thought )f her brain and every 
throbbing pulse of her soul ? The future seemed to 
stretch before her, a terrible, an unendurable blank. 

The first week of April was the time fixed for the 
meeting of the Board at which she was to be "chased 
off her job" ; and as the fatal day drew near, a sort of 
lethargy settled upon her, and she ceased to struggle, 
even in spirit, against the inevitable. 

"Well, Tillie," the doctor said, with a long sigh, 
as he came into the store at six o'clock on the event- 
ful evening, and leaned over the counter to talk to the 

> -^' "ss ,, 

" ' ■\Voll, Tillie— ' the doetur said, with a loii^- sigh." 


Getz "learns" Tillie 

girl, "they 're all ("onwencd by now, over thorp in 
the hotel parlor. Your pop nnd Xatliimiel Puntz 
they 're lookin' woiulcrful important. Your pop," 
ho vindictively added, "is just chueklin' at the '<!• - 
of gettin' you home under his thumb ag'in!" 

Tillie did not speak. She .sat behind the counter, 
her checks resting on the backs of her hands, her wist- 
ful eyes gazing past the doctor toward the red light 
in the hotel windows across the way. 

"Golly! but I 'd of liked to beat 'em out on this 
here game! But they 've got us, Tillie! They '11 be 
wotin' you out of your job any minute now. And 
then your pop '11 be coniin' over here to fetch you 
along home! Oh! If he was n't your pop I o'd say 
somethin' real perfane about him." 

Tillie drew a long breath; but she did not speak. 
She could not. It seemed to her that she had come to 
the end of everything. 

"Look-ahere, Tillie," the doctor spoke suddenly, 
"you just up and get ahead of 'era all— you just take 
yourself over to the Millersville Normal! You 've 
got some money saved, ain 't you ? ' ' 

"Yes!" A ray of hope kindled in her eyes. "I 
have saved one hundred and twenty-five dollars! I 
should have more than that if I had not returned 
to the world's dress." 

"A hundred and twenty-five 's plenty enough for a 
good starter at the Millersville Normal," said the doc- 

"But," Tillie hesitated, "this is April, and the 
spring term closes in three months. What should I do 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

and where could I go after that? If I ,„ade such a 
break with father, he might refuse to take me home 
even if I had nowhere else to go. Could I risk that?" 
The doctor leaned his head on his hand and heavily 
considered the situation. 

"I 'm blamed if I dare adwise you, Tillie. It 's 
some serious adwisin' a young unprotected female to 
leave her pop's rooft to go out into the unbeknownst 
world," he said sentimentally. "To be sure, Miss 
Margaret would .see after yon while you was at the 
Normal. But when wacation is here in June she might 
mebbe be goin' away for such a trip like, and then if 
you could n't come back home, you 'd be throwed out 
on the cold wide world, where there 's many a pitfall 
for the onwary. ' ' 

"It seems too great a risk to run, does n't it? 
There seems to be nothing-nothing-that I can do 
but go back to the farm," she said, the hope dying 
out of her eyes. 

"Just till I kin get you another school, Tillie " he 
consoled her. "I 'U be lookin' out for a wacancy in 
the county for you, you bet ! ' ' 

"Thank you, Doe," she answered wearily; "but 
you know another school could n't possibly be open 
to me until next fall-five months from now. " 
^^ She threw her head back upon the palm of her hand. 
"I 'm so tired-so very tired of it all. What 's the 
use of struggling? AVhat am I struggling forf" 

"What are you struggling fwf" the doctor re- 
peated. "Why, to get shed of your pop and all them 
kids out at the Getz farm that wears out your young 

Getz "learns" Tillie 

life workin' for 

Vm! That 's what! Aiul to have 

, „ , ■■"" " vvmii: Alu to have 

some freedom and ,non..y of your own-to have a ttl 
pleasure now and a. 'in! I tell you, Tiliie, I ,,o„- 
««..t to see j^u ,oi„' „ut there to that farn, asf'in"" 

V ".f,? """'^ ' ^''"»''' '"«re to run away to the 
-Normal?" she asked fearfully 

^^ne doctor tilted back Ins hat and scratched his 

"Leave me to think it over oncet, Tillie. and till 
to morrow mornin' a'ready I '11 give you my answ. 
iW conscience won't «ive me the dare to adwise vou 
offhand in a matter that 's so serious like what ihis 

''Father will want to make mc go out to the farm h.m th,s evenin. I am sure," she said; ' a„d 
«hen once I am out there, I shall not have either the 
sp.nt or the chance to get aw^ay, I 'm afraid." 

The doctor shook his head despondently. "We cer- 
tamly are up ag'in' it! / can't see no way out." 
There u no way out," Tillie said in a stran<^elv 

n "T ;'"""■'" ^'" '"^"«' ''^♦- - instant"l y"^ 
I wr"^ T '''' '■"""^ ""- ""'l pressing it "al 
hough I have fa.led in all that you have tried t^ help 
ne to be and to do, I shall never forget to be g atefS 
to you-my best and kindest friend <" 

The doctor looked down almost reverently at the lit- 
tle wh.te hand resting against his dark one 
Suddenly Tillie's eyes fixed themselves upon the 

FairebT;"""' "'"" *'^ ""■"""" P^-'"- ""^Valt^ 
Fair presented itself to her startled gaze 

Tilhe!a„dtheDoc! Well, it 's good to see you. 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

May I break in on your conforence— I can see it 's 
important." He spoke liphtly, but his voice was vi- 
brant with some restrained emotion. At the first sight 
of him, Tillie 's hand instinctively crept up to feel if 
til se precious curls were in their proper place. The 
cure and devotion she had .spent upon them during 
all these weary, desolate months! And all because a 
man— the one, only man— had once said they were 
pretty! Alas, Tillie, for your Mennonite principles! 

And now, at sight of the dear, familiar face and 
form, the girl trembled and was speechless. 

Not so the doctor. With a yell, he turned upon the 
visitor, grasped both his hands, and nearly wrung 
them off. 

"Hang me, of I was ever so glad to sec a feller like 
wot I am you. Teacher," he cried in huge delight, 
"the country 's javed ! Providence fetched you here 
in the nick of time ! You always was a friend to Tillie, 
and you kin help her out now!" 

Walter Fairchilds did not reply at first. He stood, 
gazing over the doctor's shoulder at the new Tillie, 
transformed in countenance by the deep waters 
through which she had passed in the five months 
that had slipped round since he had gone out of her 
life; and so transformed in appearance by the drop- 
ping of her Mennonite garb that he could hardly be- 
lieve the testimony of his eyes. 

"Is it— is it really you, Tillie?" he said, holding 
out his hand. "And are n't you even a little bit glad 
to see me!" 

The familiar voice brought the life-blood back to 
her face. She took a step toward him, both hands 


Getz "learns" Tillie 

outstreteh.d,-,lu.n, su.ldenly. she stopped and hor 
cheeks enmsoned "Of eou-.e we Ve Z to see yc" 
-very! she sai.l s„ftly but eonstrni.iediy 

I.em,ne tell y.,„ „,e „,.„,,■ ' shouted the doctor. 

Vou 11 mebbe save T.llie from goin' out there to her 

pop s farm a,.'m! She 's teacher at Willian, Pen , 

and her pop 's over there at tl,e Board meeti^ ,r' 

imvm- her throwed off, and then he 'II want "o takJ 

«.em bakers doKen of children he s got out there - 
And T,ll,e she don't want to go-and waste all her 
nice education that there way'" 

shint^ejet '"' '" '""' ""'' '°°'^'^'' '^-™ -'« »>- 

drl'ssingT'-" ■""" """' ™'"' ■" ^-'- -- -y of 

inZT^Xut'' ^^" •'^^^'" ^'■^ -^«'' <^-w. 

wkh a'Tr""/""" ^''^ Millersville Normal School 
with a letter for you from Mrs. Lansing," he ex- 

me bv tav'f ' '" "''""'"'' *" """« you'back w Uh 
me by way of answer. 

"I am an instructor in English there now you 
know, and so, of course, I have come to know'your 
Miss Margaret,'" he added, in answer to Tillk's 
unspoken question. ^ 

JdlHal "''"'' "' '"'''"P """ '"^^'"''""^ «°g-^ 

''My DEAR LITTLE Mennonite Maid : We have rather 
suddenly decided to go abroad in J„Iy_„,y , ^'bln,! 
needs the rest and change, as do we all; aL itant 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

you to Ro with mi> ns companion and friend, and to 
help me in the care of the children. In the meantime 
there is much to be done by way of preparation for 
such a trip; so can't yc" arrange to come to me at 
once and you can have the benefit of the spring term at 
the Normal. I need n't tell you, dear child, how glad 
I shall be to have you with nie. And what such a trip 
ought to mean to j/om, who have strupgled so bravely 
to live the life the Almisrhty meant that you should 
live, you only can fully realize. You 're of ape now 
and can act for yourself. Break with your present en- 
vironment now, or, I 'm afraid, Tillie, it will be never. 
"Come to me at once, and with the bearer of this 
note. With love, I am, as always, your affectionate 
" 'Mis« Margaret.' " 

When she had finished Tillie looked up with brim- 
ming eyes. 

"Doc," she said, "listen!" and si -ead the letter 
aloud, speaking slowly and distinc. that he might 
fully grasp the glory of it all. At .he end the sweet 
voice faltered and broke. 

"Oh, Doc!" sobbed Tillie, "isn't it wonderful!" 

The shaggy old fellow blinked his eyes rapidly, then 
suddenly relieved his feelings with an outrageous 
burst of profanity. With a rapidity bewildering to 
hi" hearers, his tone instantly changed again to one 
of ..chrymose solemnity : 

'Gawd moves in a mysterious way 
His wonders to perform!' " 


Getz "learns" Tillie 

he piously repeated. " Ain't, now, he does, Tillie' 
Och!" he exclaimed, "I (jot a thouRht! You (to ^i^'ht 
straight over there to that there Board n.eetin' and 
oircumwent 'em ! Befor." they 're <f„t time to wote 
you off your job, you up and throw their old William 
Penn in their Duteh faces, and tWl 'em be blowed to 
'em! Tell 'em you don't want their blamed old 
school-and you 're goin ' to Europe, you are ! To Eu- 
rope, yet!" 

He seized her hand as he spoke and almost pulled 
her to the store door. 

"Do it, Tillic!" cried Pairchilds, stepping after 
them across the store. "Present your resignation 
before they have a chance to vote you out! Do it!" 
he said eagerly. 

Tillie looked from one to the other of the two men 
before her, excitement sparkling in her eyes, her 
breath coming short and fast 
"I will!" 

Turning away, she ran down the steps, sped across 
the street, and disappeared in the hotel. 

The doctor expressed hi.s overflowing feelings by 
giving Fairchilds a resounding slap on the shoulders. 
"By gum, I 'd like to be behind the skeens and witness 
Jake Oetz gettin' fooled ag'in ! This is the most fun 
I had since I got 'em to wote you five dollars .t month 
extry, Teacher!" he chuckled. "Golly! I 'm glad 
you got here in time! It was certainly, now " he 
added piously, "the hand of Providence that led 



tilue's last fight 

"TTTK nr.- now roady to w.iti. for th,. teaehor fw 

1 T W illuini I'c.nn for tlio spring ton.,," aimc.unoo.i 

ho prosuiont of tl,o Hoard. wl,o„ „|| th,. pr..|i,nin«rv 

Inisinoss of tbo mootiiiK had l)o,.n di.sp„s,.d of- "an,"l 

before wo perceoil to that dooty, we will bo Klad to 

hear any roiiinrks." 

The members looko<l at Mr. Getz, and he promptly 
rose to his feet to ,„al<e th.. spt-irb wbieh all wore from him-the speeeh whieh was to s„m up 
the why bis .laucbtr,- sho.ild not be reelected 
for another term to AVillian, I'enn. As all these r.'a- 
sons had been exp.i.inded many times over in the past 
few months, to .aeh individual sehool director Mr 
Getz s statements to-night w,,v to be merely a more' 
forcible repetition of bis previous arguments 

But scarcely had he clear,.! bis throat to begin when 
there was a knock on the door ; it opened, and to th.'ir 
amazement, Tilli,. walked into the room Ilor eyes 
sparkling, her face flushed, h.T head oreet, she came 
straight across the room to the table about whieh the 
SIX educational potentates were gathered. 

That she had come to plead her own cause, to beg 
to be retained at her post, was obviously the object 

Tillie's last fight 

"f this intnisicin iipon tlie sncrnd privftcy of their 
wi-i(.'hty pi'Dcci'diriL's. 

lliid Ihiit, ill wry tnith, h.'on her purpd .: ,,.niin(; 
to th..|ll, she wiilll.l hliv,. fMiilKl jitlj,. .■nruunn.'.'lll.Tlt 

'" " liiii.'iiiiiKM's l),.f„iv li,.,.. KviTy III!,. i,f thi'iri 

siriiird 1,, HtilV.^ti int., ..'Hill (iisii|i|.n,v,ii of her iiii- 
filiiil lift ill thus imlilirly (,[ip„xiii(r h,T piiiviit. 

Hut IhiTc wiw wiiii.'lliiiit' ill Ihi' K'ivi's prrsiMiiv as sh.' 
siddd li,.f„n. tlinii, sdiiir p,,|,.|il sprll in her fr.sli girl- 
ish hcjiiity, ,„„1 in th,. diimillcss spirit which 

in her eyes, that el ioij thi> wiirds nf stcin ivpniiif 

as they spraiij; tii tlic lips id' Iict jiidt'cs. 

".I"hii Kcttrriii(;,"-l,iT cji'iir, scd't voiiv addressed 
the Aniish pr.sident of the Moard, adheriiiy, in her 
use of his first name, to tlie mod,. „( mhWrss of all thi. 
"plain" sects of the eoiiiity,-"hav. I your permis- 
sion to speak to the Hoard?" 

"It would n't be no use." The president frowned 
and shoolt his head. "The wotes of this here Board 
can't be intiueneed. There 's no use your wastin' 
any tall< on us. We 're here to do our dooty by the 
risin' Reneration." Mr. Ketterin!;, in his characfor 
of educator, was very fond of talking about "the ris- 
int; generation." "And," he added, "what 's ri"ht 's 

"As your teacher at William P(.nn, I have a state- 
ment to make to the Board," Tillie (|ui,.tly persisted. 
"It will taki me but a minute. I am not here to try 
to influence the vote you are about to take." 

" If yon ain't here to influence our wotes, what are 
you here fer!" 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

"That 's what I ask your permission to tell the 
Board. ' ' 

"Well," John Kettering reluctantly conceded "I '11 
give you two minutes, then. Go on. But you need n 't 
try to got us to wote any way but the way our con- 
science loads us to." 

Tillie 's eyes swept the faces before her, from the 
stern, set features of her father on her left, to the 
mild-faced, long-haired, hooks-and-eyes Amishman on 
her right. The room grew perfectly still as they stared 
at her in expectant curiosity; for her air and man- 
ner did not suggest the humble suppliant for thoir 
continued favor,-rather a self-confidence that instinc- 
tively excited their stubborn opposition. "She '11 see 
oncet if she kin do with us what she wants," was the 
thought in the minds of most of them. 

"I am here," Tillie spoke deliberately and dis- 
tinctly, "to tender my resignation." 
There was dead silence. 

"I regret that I could not give you a month's notice 
according to the terms of my agreement with you. But 
I could not foresee the great good fortune that was 
about to befall me." 

Not a man .stirred, but an ugly look of malicious 
chagrin appeared upon the face of Nathaniel Puntz 
Was he foiled in his antieip.itod revenge upon the girl 
who had "turned down" his Absalom? Mr. Oetz sat 
stiff and motionless, his eyes fixed upon Tillie. 

"I resign my position at William Penn," Tillie re- 
peated, "to go to Europe for four months' travel with 
JViiss Margaret. ' ' 

Tillie's last fight 

Again she swept them with her eyes. Her father's 
face was apopleetie; he was leanin, forward trrL 
to speak but he was too choked for uttoSe Na 
haniel Puntz looked as though a wet sponl hJd btn 
dashed upon his sleek countenance THp n h . 
-rs stared, du.founded. Thi'stse'!::;' ^ ptet 
take it "'""""■• ^'^^ "-^^^ "' « '- "ow to 

"My resignation," Tillie continued, ",„„st take 
effect immediately-to-ni"ht I tn,»t „ n ! 

difficulty in .ettin. a itltnte " '"" ""' '"''^ "" 

^^Shepa^u.>d-there was not a movement or a sound 

"I thank yn., for your attention." Tillie bowed 
turned and walked across the room. nTJml 
reached the door was the spell broken. With her han. 
on^the knob, she saw her father rise and sI^TotS 

She had no wish for an encounter with him ■ quieklv 
he went out, nto the hall, and, in order to Je him 
she opened the street door, stepped out, and dosed Tt' 
very aud,bly behind her. Then hurryi„rin at h 
adjo,nm« door of the bar-room, she ran o" to h 
ho^l kuchen, where she knew she would Id i^; 

sink. She looked up with a start at Tillie's hurr ed 


:■ f 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

threw her arms about her neck, and pressed her lips 
to her aunt's cheek. 

"Aunty Em! I can't go away without sayin? 
Bood-by to you. I am going to Europe! To Eu- 
rope Aunty Em!" she cried. The words sounded 
unreal and strange to her, and .she repeated tliem 
to make their meaning clear to herself "Miss 
Margaret has sent for me to take me with her 
to Europe!" 

She rapidly told her aunt all that had happened 
and Mrs. Wackernagel's bright, eager face of delic-ht 
expressed all the sympathy and affection which TiUio 
craved from her, but which the Mennonite dared not 

"Aunty Em, no matter where I go or what may be- 
fall me, I shall never forget your love and kindness. 
I shall remember it always, always." 

Aunty Em's emotions were stronger, for the mo 
ment, than her allegiance to the Rules, and her moth- 
erly arms drew the girl to her bosom and held her 
there in a long, silent embrace. 

She refrained, however, from kissing her; and prcs- 
ently T.llie drew herself away and. da.shing the tears 
from her eyes, went out of the by the bad; 
kitchen door. Prom here she made her way in a 
roundabout fashion, to the rear entrance of the' store 
keeper's house across the road, for she was quite sure 
that her father had gone into the store in search of 

PaWVM"''' .f r"" '"*" ""■ ^'"'^'"' ^ho found 
Fairchilds restlessly paemg the floor, and he greeted 

Tillie's last fight 

me to-night Tillin o/i '^'''''' '''''■<' »•'"' 

father wlfl' Jat'trbirC^r 'l^^'^'^' ^^ ^"•- 
avoid a conflict with him- ^ iallv J? "' "i"" 
For myself, I should n't ZZZ'' l"""" T', 
grimly. "' "^ smiled 

faefnnde/tr'""'''' ^'' '^™ '•''^*«' "" Tillie's fair 
u2 r V":*: '^'''""" '■S^''*. "f a reserve in her att 
tude toward him that was new to her It nLl . u 

warm impulse to ta.e her hands irhi/'ait? h''^ 
how glad he was to see her again 

''W shall h? ! T "r*"^'-' ""*'■' '^'^ '""'•°ing." 

;-f:^;irnrh^:^-- -;-:- 

hope that may be avoided and that we may .et!::; 

They sat in silence for a moment. Suddenlv 

e^rX '""' ^""-"-^ ''^ --^ ^P'"'^ ^tr 



I ! 

Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

"Tillic I want to ask you something. Please tell 

She hfted her startled eyes to his. "Your letters?" 
_ ^ Yes. M hy diU n 't you write to me ? " 
_ You wrote to me?" she asked incredulously 
I wrote you three times. You don't mean to tell 
me you never got my letters ? ' ' 

^o^'rza^ '^"^ •""• ' ^""^"-^ -"'^ ^-e 

"But )-nv could you have missed getting them?" 

Her eyes ell upon her hands clasped in herlp 
and her checks grew pale. ^' 

''My father," she half whispered. 

"He kept them from you?" 

"It must have been so." 
^^Pairchilds looked very grave. He did not speak 

asked One tenth of the things you have had to bear 
would have made an incarnate fiend of me- 
She kept her eyes downcast and did not answer 
I can t tell you," he went on, "how bitterly dis- 
appomted I was when I did n't hear from you I 
could n't understand why you did n't write. And i 
gave me a sense of disappointment in you. I though 
I must have overestimated the worth of our friend hb 
'n your eyes. I see now-and indeed in my heart I af 
ways knew-that I did you injustice. ' ' 

long Lelr '"' "'• '"' '""' '"''"^ --^ -'^ f^" - 
"There has not been a day," he said, "that I have 

Tillie's last fight 

tone raised her eves then n ^ c^ ^ ■ 
-t his pulse to boundin, 'But ;; f " ? '''"' '""' 
swer him they were int .:' 7 , ■■'' "''" •^"»''' "■'- 

steps eo.i„/ci::;^t^a^wS ?^' T?^ ''"^^•'^• 

Tillic started like t ,]>.,. '°"''"''' ""-' "'•'""•• 

iaid a reass;r;:i\u':r:.;::te;: '^'^^ ^"* ^-'^""^^ 

It 's the Doc," he said 


on. TiUie you <,„ 1 ' T "" '■•-' *^°* «" hurry 

walise or wha ever audT ""' f"' ^""'- ''"'^'^ '" « 
'"> Duggy ter yous as nuick n« T n.. r mi 
leave yous borry the loan nf if a . ' ^ " 

row-then, Teacher Z kin f. f '"'' *'" *°-"'"'- 
Ain't?" ' "^ ''"' ^'■'^"^ " over ag'in. 

';A11 right, Doc; you 're a brick!" 


to the hotel stables "" ^"™'''' ""' ^'^eet 

the docL-s h:;ra/:?;;5'' •?'•"<■ "•'■--, 

"Father 's in the store A ,^ ' """»• 

Tillie, as PairchiMstri. I ei^r;'"' ?■"■'"' 
stowed it in the back of the 4;;;.'''' '""^ "" ""^ 


Tillie: A Mennonite Maid 

"Hurry on, then," whispered the doctor, hoarsely 
pushing them both, with scant ceremony, into the 
carnage. "Good-hy to yous-and good luck! Och 
that 's all right; no thanks necessary! I 'm tickled 
to the end of my hair at gettin' ahead of Jake Getz ' 
Say, Fairchilds," he said, with a wink, "this here 
mare 's wonderful safe-you don't have to hold the 
rems with both hands! See?" 

And he shook in silent laughter at his own del- 
icate and delicious humor, as he watched th.MTi start 
out of the yard and down the road toward Mill,.rsvillc 
For a space there was no sound but tiie rhythmic 
beat of hoofs and the rattle of the buggy wheels- but 
in the heart of the Mennonite maid, who had fought 
her last battle for freedom and won, there was inef- 
fable peace and content; and her happiness smiled 
from quivering lips and shone in her steadfast eyes. 

Mr. Abe Wackernagel, of the New Canaan hotel, was 
very fond, in the years that followed, of bragging to 
his transient guests of his niece who was the wife 
of "such a Millersville Normal perfessor-Perfessor 
Fairchilds." And Mr. Jake Getz was scarcely less 
given to referring to his daughter "where is married 
to such a perfe.ssor at the Normal." 

''But what do / get out of it?" he was wont rue- 
fully to add. "Where do I come in, yet?-I where 
raised her since she was born, a 'ready ! ' '